The 17-year old Rhian Brewster, a product of Liverpool academy, emerged as one of the stars from England’s FIFA U-17 World Cup winning team. Brewster scored back-to-back hat-tricks in quarterfinals and semifinals against USA and Brazil, respectively, and took his side to the final. His goal-scoring form did not end there as he went on to put himself in the goalscorer list in England’s 5-2 triumph against Spain. The youngster scored 8 goals in the tournament and won the Golden Boot award for his performance.
But now, just a month after the World Cup final at Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata, India, the Liverpool player has alleged that one of his teammate, Morgan Gibbs-White, a 17-year old midfielder from Wolverhampton Wanderers, was called as “monkey” by a Spanish player.
“Something happened in the box. As Morgan was running away, he [a Spain player] has called him a monkey. It was a goal-kick and I was getting into position. ‘Morgan,’ I said, ‘did you hear that?’ He said: ‘Yeah, yeah, I thought I was the only one,’” Brewster said in an interview to the British newspaper, The Guardian.
Brewster’s remarks came just a few days after he alleged that he was racially abused by a Spartak Moscow player during a UEFA Youth League match. The footballer added that he was involved in an argument with a Spanish player during the World Cup final because he was upset about the incident. “They were telling us to win respectfully. I started laughing. I said: ‘How can you tell us to win respectfully when one of your players has been racist? What about your team-mate being respectful to us?’” he said.
The report from Guardian adds that a complaint was filed to FIFA regarding the incident by FA, but no action had been taken so far into it.
Brewster, in the interview, added that he loves the sport but has been hurt by instances of racism. “I love the game. I’m never going to stop loving it. It’s just disappointing to know it’s still in the game. If it wasn’t in the game, it would be so much better. You wouldn’t have to worry about playing abroad, worrying about what the fans are going to say, or what another player is going to say. I wouldn’t have to worry that if I score they are going to call me all types of names,” he said.
On being asked whether the footballing bodies will take any actions against it, the youngster said the matters of racism are not taken seriously. “I don’t think UEFA take this thing seriously. They don’t really care. That is how it feels anyway, like it has been brushed under the carpet,” he said.