Black players should ignore racist chants, says Rijkaard

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The Barcelona coach, Frank Rijkaard, took an astonishing stance on racism towards players yesterday, claiming that the more a player talks of the problem the worse it will get.

"The more you talk about it, the more you get the possibility that certain people will react on it," he said.

The former Dutch international, who is of Surinamese descent, said that black players should "get on with their work".

He equated abuse from the stands to songs about a player's individual characteristics. "If someone is quite tall the people will sing songs about his height. We don't have to overreact. You just have to do your job," Rijkaard said on Radio 5.

Rijkaard, who talked Samuel Eto'o out of leaving the pitch at Real Zaragoza in February after the Cameroon international suffered monkey chants, added: "The game's organisations - Fifa, Uefa, Premiership, Liga - have to take measures and I think it's being done right."

The Spanish FA fined Real Zaragoza just €9,000 (£6,000).