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14.09.2005 Football News

Abedi Pele Vows to Fight Racism in Fifa

By Raymond Yeboah

THREE times African Footballer of the Year and Ghanaian ex-international, Abedi Ayew Pele, has vowed to wage a war against racism in FIFA.

Pele who expressed disappointment over the recurring cases of racism in world football, regretted that Africans have continued to be the target of discriminatory actions.

"There are 15 players in FIFA's players status committee and I'm the only one from Africa. This is partly due to racism, but I promise to fight it to the best of my ability," he enthused.

The former 1860 Munich ace who became emotional while addressing children at SOS Village, Isolo, Lagos advised them to nurture their talents to the best of their capacity for it could cause breakthrough for them irrespective of their present circumstance

He said, "God gives us talent and if you seize that talent, you will always be what you want to be. I encourage you to nurture your talent to the best of your ability."

even if it's not football. I always tell my friends that even if it's 'shit' you can carry, be the best in it."

Pele who noted that of all the SOS villages he had been to in Africa, the Isolo village is exceptional as it looked well organised and clean, adding that he had been informed of FIFA's pledge to help build another SOS village in Abuja and promised that he would ensure FIFA keep the promise

"I will tell the president, Sepp Blatter, that I've visited Nigeria, and I will make him fulfill the promise," he stressed.

The football legend further warned the kids to take their education very serious. "Education is very, very important," he emphasised. He went on to describe how he had dodged French classes while in high school, thinking it was superfluous, only to fall victim when he went to Europe the first time.

"The first time I was in Europe, I was alone at the airport when a man who was sent to pick me came, but could not speak English just as I could not speak French. He was holding a newspaper with my picture on it. He would go pass me, take a look at me and went back not knowing what to say. He did it again and again until he aid, 'Pele' and I said yes. He made sign that I should follow him, which I did. At the hotel I kept thinking of my French master back in school," he narrated.

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