Story By: Juan Mayes, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Golder’s News And Sport
Cameroon international goalkeeper Carlos Kameni has said monkey chants could lead some footballers to consider taking their own lives as he opens up on the racist abuse he received in La Liga.
Former Malaga goalkeeper Kameni, 35, made the comments during an interview with TV programme ‘Los Otros: Futbol y Racismo’ (The Others: Football and Racism) broadcast by Spanish channel ‘Vamos’.
The programme addressed racism in Spanish football by speaking with several footballers and journalists who have worked or continue to work in La Liga and could shed insight.
When speaking about his own experience with racism, Kameni said: “I am speaking about this subject today but a long time ago I decided not to speak.
“A while ago I thought this was a losing battle. Just a losing battle.”
Kameni spoke about a match against Real Zaragoza when he was playing for Espanyol which saw him targeted by racist chants.
He said: “When a person goes through something like that. They could go home and commit suicide. I could not understand how this could happen in a country like this.
“Nobody can what I was feeling at that moment in the slightest. I am there play, we are there to play and do our job.”
Kameni, who was 20 years old at the time of the incident, went on to say: “If they do things like that to me when I am 20, imagine an eight-year-old kid.”
The former Espanyol star admitted: “My teammates could not look at me during halftime because of what happened.
“It was difficult to get over that but with time I was able to come to terms with everything.”
Kameni does not have a club after his contract with Turkish side Fenerbahce finished in 2019.
He gained recognition during his time with Espanyol, playing for them between 2004 and 2012, helping them win the Copa del Rey in 2006 and finishing runners-up in the UEFA Cup in 2007.
He holds the record for most matches played in La Liga by a foreign goalkeeper and has 71 caps with Cameroon.
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