Football: Racism daily scourge for Brazilian shot-stopper

Goalkeeper Jefferson of Brazil's Botafogo says "It is sad, but you get prejudice," in Brazilian football. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS
Goalkeeper Jefferson of Brazil's Botafogo says "It is sad, but you get prejudice," in Brazilian football. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) - Racism is a daily scourge in Brazil, even if you're a top footballer, says Botafogo goalkeeper Jefferson.

"It is sad, but you get prejudice," Brazil international Jefferson told O Dia newspaper.

"We can't hide its existence - you feel it sometimes getting on the bus or the metro.

"A black person suffers discrimination if he asks what time it is in the street," charged the 31-year-old, who is reserve goalkeeper to Julio Cesar.

"I wish we could put an end to it but we have to live with it whether we want to or not."

Several incidents of racism have marred matches in Brazil recently.

Cruzeiro star Tinga as well as a referee were afforded a personal hearing by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff after both were subjected to racist chants during matches.

Ms Rousseff said such incidents "stained" the game's image in Brazil and has invited religious leaders to draw up anti-racist messages to be read out ahead of World Cup matches.

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