Football: Slur drives out Campbell

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The Independent Online
KEVIN CAMPBELL said he was determined to leave the Turkish club Trabzonspor following what he said were racist insults from the club's chairman.

"I am first of all a black man," Campbell said in a statement. "I can accept routine criticism, but when comments are made concerning my race, football is not important."

Trabzonspor's chairman, Mehmet Ali Yilmaz, told Turkish television over the weekend that Campbell's performance at the club had been a disappointment. "We bought a cannibal who calls himself a striker," he said, describing the striker as "discoloured".

Campbell said he was seeking a move away from the club, which he joined from Nottingham Forest in July last year in a pounds 4m move.

"The chairman's statement is the greatest insult in my life. Nothing, no apology can heal the injury," he said. "My adventure at Trabzonspor is finished. If permission is given for me to leave here with my pride [intact] it would be better."

Trabzonspor are currently in fourth place in the Turkish first division. Campbell has struggled to find the form that saw him score 23 goals for Forest last season and has been in dispute with the club since they were late with a payment on his contract. He appealed to Fifa, which told him to stay when the cash finally arrived, but now he will go back to the game's governing body to demand his immediate release.

West Ham will be interested in Campbell if the fee is much less than the money Trabzonspor paid for him.

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