‘Team ready to take a stand against racism’

MADRID: Athletic Club Bilbao forward Inaki Williams says that he and his teammates are willing to take a stand against racism and walk off the pitch even if it means costing them a game.
Williams, whose parents are from Ghana, was born in the Basque region of northern Spain and has made one appearance so far for the Spain national team, while his younger brother Nico is a member of the Spain Under-19 squad.
Earlier this season the striker was the subject of racist abuse from a group of Espanyol fans in the 1-1 draw between Espanyol and Athletic Club in Espanyol’s stadium in Cornella on January 25th.
It was not the first time he has suffered racist abuse in a stadium, after a similar incident in Gijon in 2016. But Williams says it will be the last.
Speaking on the TV program ‘Universo Valdano’ he explained “I know my team-mates would have walked off the field with me (against Espanyol), because it is something that we have talked about,” and he implied that if he receives racist abuse again, the team would walk off.
“We know that if it happens, we will leave the pitch and we don’t care if the game is awarded against us, because we would have struck a blow against racism,” he said.
“We live in the 21st century and you can’t allow it (racism). It doesn’t matter what someone’s race, color or sex is, we can’t allow any kind of harassment in football. I hope it never happens again,” continued Williams.
The striker highlighted that in the game against Espanyol after he had suffered racist abuse, Tenerife fans hung banners condemning racism in their stadium and gave him an ovation. – Agencies