Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo said that he would walk off the field if he was racially abused ever again in his career after admitting that he was subjected to racism during his tenure in China.
He revealed that he was called “all sorts of banes” by opposition players in China while he played for Changchun Yatai and Shanghai Shenhua. He is currently under a loan deal at United.
“If it happens to me I would report it to the referee and see what they do, but if they don’t take action about it then I’m going to walk off because it should not be done to any player or anyone in the world,” Ighalo was quoted as saying to Sky Sports News.
“In one game in China I got called all sorts of names and after the game, I didn’t shake his hand. I walked straight into the dressing room, I was angry, I reported it to the FA.
“I didn’t press forward with it, I just let it go because I’m just this kind of guy. I don’t like to drag issues out. But I don’t think it should be condoned in any country.”
The 31-year-old Nigeria international also spoke about George Floyd and asked for justice to be done to his cause.
A black civilian, Floyd, was choked to death by a white police officer in Minneapolis, United States of America, last week. The officer, Derek Chauvin, held Floyd down with a knee on his neck though he repeatedly pleaded, “I can’t breathe,” and “please, I can’t breathe”.
His death triggered violent protests across the country after a video of the shocking incident surfaced on social media. Angry mobs of thousands have been taking to the streets in several cities for the last 5-6 days to demand stricter laws and actions against the black killings by the police.
Protests to condemn the killing of Floyd have been staged in cities outside America as well.
Ighalo believes the prevailing situation is an outbreak of a collective rage that has resulted from years of racism. However, he also urged the protesters to resort to peaceful demonstrations.
“Nobody should condone racism,” said the former Watford players. “We are all human. Despite the colour of our skin, we are all the same, we live in the same world, the same life.
“I don’t condone racism, but at the same time, I don’t condone riots.
“It didn’t start today, it’s not going to end today. It’s going to take time. We are hoping this situation can change the narrative and make it more limited. It’s going to reduce it to a minimum.