England youth international and Liverpool player Rhian Brewster has told The Guardian that football’s authorities must do more to tackle racism in the game as he opened up about the level of abuse he has personally received.
Earlier this month, Liverpool told UEFA that they believed Brewster had been racially abused by Spartak Moscow player Leonid Mironov during a UEFA Youth League match.
The 17-year-old striker was restrained by teammates and Liverpool staff at the end of the 2-0 win, with the club then contacting European football’s governing body.
Brewster, who won the Under-17 World Cup with England in October and finished the tournament as top scorer, told The Guardian of seven occasions on which he had been racially abused or had heard a teammate being racially abused, including during the World Cup final victory over Spain.
He stressed that Liverpool had backed him in speaking out, and said of the incident against Spartak that “their player leaned over me, right down to my face and said: ‘Suck my d—, you n—–, you negro.’
“I jumped to my feet and the ref came running over because obviously he realised something had been said. He said to me he couldn’t do anything because he hadn’t heard it and [said] ‘the only thing I can do is report it’.
“I said: ‘Come on, then — let’s go and report it.’ He started doing something else and I said: ‘No, now.’
“We went over to the fourth official and told him. I told Steven [Gerrard, Liverpool youth coach] what had happened and we made a complaint there.”
Brewster said he had initially had the feeling that he did not want to make a complaint because he feared that “nothing’s going to happen.”
He added: “I was walking down the tunnel after the match and I was just swearing: ‘F— the system, it’s not going to do anything,’ stuff like that.
“Obviously you have to do it [submit a complaint]. But if something is ever done about it, that’s another story.
“If I’d have knocked him out I would have been banned, 100 percent. Nothing has happened to him yet, and nothing might happen.
“I hope something happens and he gets banned, but I don’t know if anything will.”
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