During the talk, called ‘There is no color in sport’, the Cameroonian goalkeeper – still active and one of the most authoritative voices in the country to talk about xenophobia – pointed out unequivocally that “In Spain there is racism and it must be cut off and prosecuted”stating that “the basis is in education”, and adding: “Who thinks they are different?”
Full to the brim
The room of the modern Red Cross compound in the capital, located in the Segalerva neighborhood, was filled to capacity for the occasion with refugees and volunteers who did not miss a single detail of Kameni’s words, who offered a calm, balanced and charged speech. of values, and that was accompanied by journalist Borja Gutiérrez.
«I do not agree that in Spanish sport there is no racism. There is every Sunday. There is racism and it must be cut. If we say there is none, it will continue to happen. We will continue passing because they hide», expanded Kameni, resident in Malaga while looking for equipment at 39 years old and after his last adventure in Andorra: «I refuse to hang up my gloves. Physically I’m fine. I train better than when I played. That’s why I resist retiring. I feel physically and mentally strong to enjoy my passion. I hope that in the next few days you can see me in the fields. A few minutes ago I dropped an offer. “We are going to take it calmly and since I am a free agent it can arrive at any time.”
But, returning to the original issue of racism, Kameni pointed to education “as the basis” of prevention. «Parents have the responsibility. I don’t give importance to what happens on the field. I’m not complaining there. I enjoy playing. Whoever is in the stands does not count. He has wasted his time and his money. He doesn’t affect me. He affects me on the street. In day to day. That’s strong enough. “In the schools where the children go,” he continued, understanding that it is a topic that “is only talked about when something happens in the countryside.” Afterwards we don’t see real actions. Not even in the field. Not even in life. We have touched on an issue, but change was not on the way… Do you think stopping a game will be the solution? If you go to 20 fields for a game, does a person say that? You have to educate. Go to schools. If you blurt that out in front of your father or mother… You won’t do that again. I’m talking about the base. There is no more important human being in your life than your father.
Kameni reviewed some of the anecdotes peppered with racism that have haunted him during his career, such as those famous ones from Mestalla or Montjuic, his own field with Espanyol, and brought up real and current cases. And proper names: «I already said years ago that I had to take measures. We can’t let time pass. Yesterday it happened in Cartagena. If you have someone next to you, you have to tell them to stop. Before Vinicius, Iñaki (Williams) happened. When Vinicius happened, he spoke of provocation… What he does on the field does not give you the right to express that hatred. It’s football. We have let a lot of time pass and it happened to me in 2004. Almost 20 years. Nothing was done. To Eto’o two weeks later in Zaragoza. We have let so much go by… Vinicius? But before? “I want it to be something firm and for us to really bring up the issue.”
There was no shortage of familiar faces in the room, some of whom joined the open forum to contribute their vision from their perspective, such as the former basketball player. Anicet Lavodrama, with a long professional career and who now works as sports director of the Ivory Coast national team. Lavodrama was born in the Central African Republic and is the son of diplomats, he has 18 siblings and jumped from Africa to a University in the United States before pursuing a career in the ACB. He now resides in Malaga: “The people who have to be here are those who manifest these bad practices or have those behaviors. Carlos has touched on the issue and the solution is difficult. Legislate hate or lover… The large sports organizations: FIFA or FIBA carry out permanent campaigns and I participate in different actions or demonstrations and the key continues to be education. As a father, mother, grandfather or grandmother, I pass on to my grandchildren what it means to be human. Education must come from everyone. If you point out who has stepped in the poop and has consequences, it may have an effect. You must be clear that this is not done.”
Gifts to close the event
At the end of the event, numerous gifts were given.. Kameni received the biznaga from the APDM in gratitude for his collaborationn, also receiving a badge from the Red Cross, which he served as host; and two more very special details: a cover of the magazine La Bombonera, in which Pachi Idígoras recreated it with pipe shells – Pachi himself gave it to him; and a painting with all the cards of him as a Málaga player, a gift from collector Isidoro Blanco, who actively collaborated in the ‘customization’ of the room for the event. Likewise, Kameni gave the Red Cross a personalized and dedicated Málaga shirt for this season.. It was the culmination of an unforgettable day in which racism was discussed and foundations were laid to try to prevent it from the grassroots.