Former Super Eagles defender, Taribo West, has said he suffered racism while playing football in Europe, especially in Italy and Germany.
He said his mother was often insulted when the racial abuses were hurled at him while playing football in those countries.
Speaking to Punch, Taribo West said retired Cameroonian international, Samuel Eto’o also suffered the same but confronted it.
He said, “I had most issues in Italy and Germany. The only place I wasn’t abused or thrown stones and water at was at the San Siro, but every other place I played in Italy, if they didn’t abuse my mother, they would abuse my father and throw stones and water at me. It was the same thing in Germany. It was also in France, but not as high as it was in Italy and Germany. The Italians pretend that there’s no racism, but it’s very high. When (Samuel) Eto’o played there, he confronted it because it was very high. (Romelu) Lukaku also faced it.”
On playing against Thierry Henry, Taribo West hailed the former Arsenal striker, saying despite the Frenchman being very good, he did his best to make playing difficult for him.
“Henry was one of the toughest strikers I played against. Throughout my sojourn in Europe, I don’t think I slept, I was always calculating ahead of the next striker I would play against. To play in the French topflight then as a defender, you must be very good because all the teams had first class strikers. Go to Italy, England, Germany, it was the same. I was one of the defenders that were outstanding. There were very few attackers that passed me one-on-one to score, they were very few. Henry was one of the emerging stars then, and when Auxerre played against Monaco, I always breathed down his neck. I made him shiver, like they were pouring snow on him. That’s why he said I was the toughest defender he played against,” he said.