details of interview
Role of the Interviewed: Street soccer board member
Type of radicalization: nationality based
Historical period collocation: 2013
Date/Country of the Interview: 15/02/2019, Portugal
Interviewer: Rosto Solidário
Anytime we go abroad to attend sports competitions we seek to give our young athletes the opportunity to experience other activities that might foster their personal development such as recreational, cultural or educational activities. In this sense we organized a walk with our team members through the historical center of the city allowing them to get to know the historical sites. This was planned to be a normal tour of a group of 12 people, duly equipped and identified as the Portuguese team, waiting to explore a new city, considering that for most of the youngsters this was the first experience abroad.
During the tour we began to hear someone scream at our group. First in an unknown language for us (possibly Polish) and then in English. The group that approached us started by calling some of our youngsters “monkeys”, later imitating the body language of the primates and then asked the youngsters if they wanted bananas. As our youngsters stood indifferent to this insults, the attackers raised the level of insults and started to shout that our group should leave their country, continuously stating that we were not welcome.
Throughout this process and as a result of the extensive work of developing personal and social skills with these youngsters, they stayed together, kept walking, looking straight ahead and never replying to any of the insults or taunts.
I consider this an example of radicalization considering that the behaviour of the group attacking us was a result of discrimination and prejudice against a race and nationality different from their own, triggered by the fact that our team was having a good performance in the event unlike the host team.
However, as a result of our work with them, the youngsters knew that the insults and provocations they suffered were due to the lack of information and knowledge of the attacking group. The youngsters were accompanied by the whole technical team. The situation was reported to the event organization members and local authorities that did apologize but underestimated anyway the set of happenings.