In Great Britain, South Asian Heritage Month is celebrated from mid-July to mid-August and is a month of celebrations of the cultural heritage of all people with family roots in South Asian countries – hence India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and the Maldives. This is a large part of the population: 7% of the UK population, in fact, has ancestry attributed to these countries. Football also participates in this initiative: the football associations have produced and are publishing Video series Where players, coaches and referees of Asian descent tell their human and professional experience, it is clear in relation to the topics of their community.
One of these videos was also attended by Gareth Southgate, the England coach who returned from second place in the European Championship. He was not a contribution to the circumstances, but in his speech he used clear and harsh words to spur greater integration into the English football system. Southgate said: “We should review our way of exploring, because there is clearly an unintended prejudice towards the Asian community in our country. We may have always thought that footballers of these origins were not as strong and athletic as the English, or like the players of other countries.” For the English coach, we face a real distinction: “It’s a ridiculous generalization: football is played in all societies, in all regions of the country. So I think we should expand our monitoring network, go to the regions where people of Asian descent are concentrated, because we want to In more players of these assets we are sure of their presence.”
Also featured in the FA video were Yan Danda (Swansea midfielder) and Mayumi Pacheco (West Ham women’s defender), who somehow support Southgate’s theory that players of Asian descent find it more difficult to enter professional football. The numbers also confirm this sentiment: As mentioned, we are talking about 7% of the population, but only 0.25% of professional footballers have a South Asian background. In an article in times Which tells the story of Hamza Chowdhury – a Leicester player of Bengali origin who has made seven appearances for the England Under-21 team – there is an interview with a professional club observer, who, unfortunately, shows how the prejudice denounced by Southgate is really present: “Asian footballers fail to reach To high levels because they shy away from physical contact, they are good at other sports – for example in cricket – precisely because there are no clashes with opponents.” Here, according to Southgate, it’s time to erase these very silly, out-of-date stereotypes.
“Introvert. Avid gamer. Wannabe beer advocate. Subtly charming zombie junkie. Social media trailblazer. Web scholar.”