- Football fans were left stunned when a Belgian fan was spotted on camera in blackface makeup
- Angry fans took to Twitter to show their disgust
- It’s worth noting that in Belgium and the Netherlands people dress up as a character named ‘Zwarte Piet’ around Christmas time
The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia has seen more than its fair share of surprises, drama and controversies and last night’s match between England and Belgium delivered a massive controversy.
While the match itself has been described as a yawn fest which saw Belgium beat England 1-0 to top their group, what happened in the crowd was what really caused a massive controversy.
Shortly after Belgium scored the winning goal cameras panned to celebrating fans in the stands. Eagle-eyed soccer fans were shocked to spot a Belgian fan dressed in blackface makeup.
Briefly.co.za gathered that angry fans took to Twitter to express their shock, disgust and anger at the controversial and (in South Africa and America) racist display.
Thesouthafrican.com reported that it is worth noting that while countries like South Africa and America view blackface as a racist statement there is a tradition in Belgium and the Netherlands for people to dress up as a character named ‘Zwarte Piet’ around Christmas time.
Zwarte Piet first appeared in those countries in the 1850’s and is a sidekick of Saint Nicholas, a version of Santa Clause.
Be that as it may, blackface is frowned upon in most countries because it was used as an overtly stereotypical depiction of black characters in cartoons and plays.
Some fans have called on FIFA to launch an investigation into the racist behaviour and to hold the Belgian Football Association responsible for the man’s action.
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