Painting your face in your team’s colors is one thing. But blackface?
German fans who showed up in blackface to watch their team play Ghana over the weekend have prompted FIFA to investigate possible racial discrimination.
One Instagram photo showed two white man with their faces painted black wearing homemade T-shirts emblazoned with “Ghana.”
Some reports suggest that as many as a dozen German fans showed up looking like that. The woman who posted the Instagram photo said she saw at least eight fans in blackface at the game.
FIFA announced on Sunday that its disciplinary committee will investigate photos showing several German fans in black makeup.
“We do not respect any discriminatory messages,” FIFA spokeswoman Delia Fischer told the Associated Press.
FIFA has “zero tolerance” rules when it comes to discrimination, another FIFA official told UK’s Guardian.
But Aljazeera America on Sunday wondered where FIFA has been all this time since those German fans aren’t the only ones who’ve been walking around like insensitive yahoos.
“For example, France’s victory over Switzerland on Saturday was soiled by the behavior of three of its fans in the Arena Fonte Nova stadium in Salvador who decided to dress in blackface and mock the Afro-Brazilian and Caribbean religion, Candomblé,” the website noted.
“Not only has FIFA apparently turned a blind eye to this behavior; the media have largely ignored it, too. ESPN showed the three French fans in blackface singing the national anthem, but its announcers let the image pass without comment.
“And some of them were invited to interviews with Brazilian television at the official FanFest, while at the game itself, other fans stopped to have their picture taken with the fans in blackface.”
It’s unclear what FIFA will do – other than have one committee after another committee after another committee talk about this – if it finds racial discrimination here.
Also during Germany’s match against Ghana on Saturday, which finished with a 2-2 draw, a German fan with pro-Nazi tattoos on his body ran onto the field.
Things could get interesting when Germany plays the United States on Thursday.