Conmebol, in a note sent to FIFA this evening, condemned the xenophobic statements made by Arsene Wenger about Mbappé, a Frenchman who is one of the leading names in the sport in the world.
Last week, the former Arsenal manager, who is also French and currently works as head of development at football’s highest body, said the following sentence when talking about the PSG striker: “If he [Mbappé] had he been born in Cameroon, he would not have become the striker he is today. There is Europe and there is the rest of the world.”
“CONMEBOL is firmly committed to combating racist or discriminatory expressions and gestures, whether they come from fans in stadiums, athletes and coaches on the field, or officials, through public statements,” the South American body began in the letter.
“Wenger’s words, in addition to revealing an unusual ignorance about the valuable contribution of African players to world football – especially to European football – show a degrading bias that derails the efforts of athletes and sporting institutions that are not in Europe. ‘. Often, the most reprehensible prejudices are disguised as ‘well-founded’ and ‘intelligent’ reflections”, continued Conmebol.
Following the text, the entity linked the controversy involving Cameroon with South America. “Like Africans, we South Americans know this type of attitude very well and firsthand, which is born of the belief that the world begins and ends in Europe.”
Finally, Conmebol stressed that “the talent, the spirit of sacrifice and the desire to overcome African and South American players must be valued and respected”.