No blacks allowed?
Members of Argentina's football team

Dear Editor,

It is World Cup season and football fans all across Jamaica are lining up behind their favourites to win the 2022 Fifa World Cup Trophy .

Among the firm favourites which many Jamaicans are solidly supporting is team Argentina.

I am deeply troubled, however, by a simple fact that stands out among outstanding football nations. All of the top teams in the world now boast players of all races — except Argentina. I have never ever seen a black person representing the Argentinian national football team. So is it that there are no black people living in Argentina, or is it that none merits a place on a football team in a football-mad nation?

The history of Argentina is replete with stories of systematic elimination of black people over time. Historical records indicate that Africans landed in the Rio de la Plata region of Argentina to work on plantations and they later spread to other parts of the country between the 18th and 19th centuries. There are many reports and theories about their systematic elimination as well as the whitening of Argentina, where avenues were created for Europeans to enter and reside. I won't delve into these reports and theories in the absence of the facts.

I would simply advise my brothers and sisters here in Jamaica, where over 90 per cent of the population is of African descent, to reflect on why all other football nations, including the Scandinavian and European ones, reflect representation of black people, whereas Argentina, to my knowledge, has never had a black player.

It is in that regard that I, as a proud black man, have never been, and, until that very loud and disturbing anomaly is explained to me, will never be a fan of the Argentine football nation.

Hopeton Morrison


Kingston 8

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