Taribo West has spoken about his encounter with Racism during his playing days in Italy, describing the situation as “intense” in the European Country.
West left Nigeria in 1993 and joined his first European team, Auxerre, but four years later moved to Inter Milan for €3 million.
After two seasons with the Nerazzurri, the defender switch camps and signed for city rivals, AC Milan for €2.5 million.
Recounting his experience in the three seasons he played in the Serie A, West said was racially abused everywhere he played in Italy. Everywhere but San Siro, and he would turn the hate abuse to motivation to perform better.
“Those days it was very tough, racism was high, especially for those of us with black skin,” West recounts on Brila FM’s Morning show “No Holds Barred”.
“They will throw Bananas at you. Splash you water and sing songs against you. I suffered racial abuse across Italy, but it was only at the San Siro that I was not racially abused.
“I suffered racism in every city I went to play, those days. We could not protest the way we do now because we were very few, so I suffered hot racial abuse in every away game I played in Italy.
“Whenever I was racially abused, I felt provoked and I sometimes took out the anger on my opponents; I go hard against their star Players,” the versatile Defender who today leads his Congregation as a local Pastor in Nigeria recollects. “Sometimes I even make sure I hurt the fans with my performance.”
“Those days the rivalry was very tough but these modern days I am sure things are now softer thanks to the campaign to eradicate violence and Racism.”
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