Toumani Diagouraga opens up on racism and work of Kick It Out
Toumani Diagouraga has lifted the lid on being racially abused by a section of Millwall supporters ahead of this weekend’s Kick it Out game.
The Brentford midfielder suffered the taunts from a group of youngsters in a 4-0 loss at The Den during his loan spell with Rotherham in 2007.
Ahead of Brentford’s game with the Millers, which has been designated the club’s Kick It Out game for the season, the Frenchman opened up on the taunts and how football needs to combat the scourge of racism in the game.
He said: “We played Millwall away and there were some bad things said. There were a few young fans saying a few comments and stuff.
“It’s well documented that it’s still present. Hopefully, with the likes of Kick It Out, people can understand more and stop that behaviour.
“Kick It Out are doing well and I think the situation is improving. Hopefully the time will come where they’re not needed anymore.”
Millwall have a zero-tolerance policy to racism and fans will face lifelong bans from The Den if found guilty. The club also have a community scheme, Millwall For All, aimed at eliminating racism among their fanbase.
Elsewhere, Kevin Prince Boateng once led his AC Milan team-mates off the pitch after being abused in a friendly and Mario Balotelli has threatened to do the same. Diagouraga, though, isn’t sure about the best way to react.
He said: “I don’t know what the best way is as I was young then, it was nearly 10 years ago. I don’t know what the good thing is to do because it doesn’t seem to be stopping.”
Brentford have had a difficult start to the season and sacked Marinus Dijkhuizen after eight games, replacing him with Lee Carsley, and the midfielder felt the club needed the international break to regroup ahead of another critical run of fixtures.
He added: “The break was good. I spent it with my family relaxing. I think it was good for everyone to forget about football for a few days and recharge the batteries and go again.
“We need a similar moment to Stuart Dallas’ goal against Derby that sparked a five match winning run last season but we have to take it one game at a time, starting with Rotherham.”
Diagouraga’s brief spell at Rotherham came when the Millers battled in vain against relegation from League One, making seven appearances for the club.
He added: “I was there for six months on loan from Watford. It wasn’t one of my best loans. The manager got sacked three weeks after I was there. They’re a good club but I’ve had better loans, playing wise.”
From Get West London