Rio de Janeiro, March 13 IANS | 8 months ago

World Cup winner Lilian Thuram says players are partly responsible for continued racism in football.

Thuram was speaking at the the Programa Africa Hoje anti-racism campaign here and admitted he was dismayed by a spate of recent incidents in Brazil, reported Xinhua.

"When all players decide to walk off the pitch because of racist abuse, the situation might improve," the former France defender said.

"Why does a player decide to stay on the pitch when a colleague is the target of racism? That player also needs to be questioned because he also has his share of responsibility for this type of problem."

Last week, former Brazil international Arouca was racially abused by a fan while playing for Santos against Mogi Mirim in the Sao Paulo state championship.

"Racism in football mirrors racism in society," Thuram said. "What is worse: being abused on a football pitch or missing out on a job for being black? It's hypocrisy to associate racism only with football."

Thuram, 42, won 142 international caps for France and was part of the Les Bleus' 1998 World Cup triumph.

He retired in 2008 after being diagnosed with a heart condition.

(Posted on 13-03-2014)

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