Soccer Great Seedorf Urges Yellow Cards to Curb Racial Abuse

GENEVA — Players should get yellow cards for covering their mouths to speak to opponents, soccer great Clarence Seedorf told European lawmakers on Wednesday in a forum on hate speech in sport.

Seedorf spoke to the 47-nation Council of Europe on the day UEFA was preparing a verdict in the disciplinary case of a Slavia Prague player alleged to have racially insulted a Black opponent from Rangers last month.

Ondřej Kúdela covered his mouth with both hands when he spoke into Glen Kamara's ear during a stoppage in play in a Europa League game.

Kúdela denied Kamara's allegation that he used racist language that another Rangers player also claimed to have heard. UEFA also investigated Kamara over the Czech club's claims he attacked Kúdela after the game, which Slavia won 2-0.

Seedorf, who is Black, referred lawmakers to "some racist situations" and hate speech among players in recent weeks.

"We are talking about sport, it has to be transparent — so why would I cover my mouth if I need to say something to my adversary?" the former Netherlands midfielder said.

Seedorf suggested it could be "very easily attacked by implementing some rules" such as showing a yellow card for speaking to a referee or opponent with mouth covered. UEFA can suggest such changes to the FIFA-backed rules-making panel known as IFAB.

Soccer bodies UEFA and FIFA have closed previous disciplinary cases  when players alleged racial abuse by an opponent by citing lack of evidence to support their claims. Violators face "a suspension lasting at least 10 matches or a specified period of time, or any other appropriate sanction," under UEFA's disciplinary code.

Seedorf said there was too much talk and not enough action to combat hate speech in soccer stadiums and on the field.

"I cannot be happy to see certain things to change so slowly because the need is obvious and very urgent," said the former Ajax, Real Madrid and AC Milan player. Seedorf is the only player to be European champion with three different clubs.

Citing the killing of George Floyd in the United States last year, Seedorf said soccer and public authorities should give fans incentives to record incidents of racism and hate speech by "capturing those moments" and sending the footage as evidence.

"If it wasn't for the people around George Floyd, today we would not be speaking and we would not have had a movement around all that happened and we would not have that police officer now going to trial," Seedorf said.

Seedorf spoke after UEFA official Michele Uva told the forum that the European soccer body wanted to lead by example and work together with public authorities tackling discrimination.

Seedorf later called for more diversity within soccer, citing too few Black coaches at clubs and not enough inclusion within institutions like UEFA and FIFA.

"That is where we need to start as well, where we lead by example," he said. "From there you have I think a much better position also to ask other people to change."

The 90-minute event was hosted from Strasbourg, France, by the European body which promotes human rights and the rule of law in Europe.


BUDAPEST, Hungary — Andrea Fuentes prevented a tragedy at the swimming world championships with her quick reaction.

Top Stories

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

General News

PHILADELPHIA – The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley announced that the Evzones, the Presidential Guard of Greece will be participating in the Philadelphia Greek Independence Day Parade on March 20.


Mission…to Alonnisos, a TNH Documentary

O oceanic you sing and sail White on your body and yellow on your chimeneas For you're tired of the filthy waters of the harbors You who loved the distant Sporades You who lifted the tallest flags You who sail clear through the most dangerous caves Hail to you who let yourself be charmed by the sirens Hail to you for never having been afraid of the Symplegades (Andreas Empeirikos)   What traveler has not been fascinated by the Greek islands, drawn by the Sirens’ song of a traveler’s dreams? TNH and our video show ‘Mission’ marked the change of the season by transporting viewers into the heart of summer.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.