Former Barcelona and Chelsea striker Samuel Eto’o said racism and online abuse can only be defeated in football if social media platforms and football governing bodies around the world take action.
English football is in the middle of a social media blackout as Premier League clubs alongside the FA, EFL and the Women’s Super League take a joint stance against online hate and inhumane discrimination.
The boycott means no English game will be promoted across social media and it is expected to last for four days, starting from Friday to Monday, May 3.
Eto’o, who was a target of racist abuse during his playing days, said the social media blackout is just a message and “not direct action” to tackle online and racist abuse.
“As English football organisations take part in a social media blackout today, I am reminded of this interview,” Eto’o tweeted.
“The blackout is a powerful message, but it is not direct action. I strongly believe that real change won’t come into effect until the bodies running world football and social media platforms are pressured into taking action.
“Abuse, whether in person or online, can never be tolerated.”
The Cameroon legend believes players walking off the pitch would be a strong statement that would compel football governing authorities to combat the challenge.
“It might not have been the first time but it was one time too many. This time I thought to myself, ‘they must not realise they are offending someone not just because of his colour, but because he is African’,” Eto’o said in a video on his page.
“Seriously? A lot of people will lose money. And when you hit someone’s pocket, they will surely find a solution.
“First, the TV stations will feel the hit and that will put pressure on the bodies running world football and only then will things change.”