The Sweden striker was the subject of abuse last month, and he says that UEFA must do more to fix the problem
Real Sociedad and Sweden forward Alexander Isak says that UEFA needs to further punish those involve in racist incidents, adding that the issue is about much more than getting racism out of football stadiums.
The striker was subjected to racist abuse as Sweden booked their spot at Euro 2020 with a 2-0 win over Romania in November, with the match halted shortly after his 78th-minute introduction because of abuse hurled from the crowd.
Isak, who was booed every time he touched the ball following the stoppage in play, reported the incident to the match referee while adding that he was “incredibly sad” following the incident.
And now, with more incidents popping up across Europe since the incident involving Isak, the 20-year-old forward says that more needs to be done both in football stadiums and as a society.
“Honestly, I don’t know what the solution can be,” Isak told reporters on Wednesday. “I think there’s a responsibility to punish people who do stuff like that.
“I think there should be serious consequences for that stuff. Something has to happen. I’m not in charge, but it’s not for me to say, but I hope something happens.”
He added: “I think that UEFA should be a lot harder with punishments, but also it’s not only about getting it away from stadiums. It shouldn’t be in this world. The problem is big, and it’s not easy to solve.”
There have been a number of incidents throughout Europe in recent weeks, prompting UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin to admit that more needs to be done to fight racism in football.
Players like Raheem Sterling and Romelu Lukaku have been outspoken critics of how those at the top of the game handle incidents and punish those involved.
While Isak says that he does not have the answers on how to do that, the Real Sociedad forward says that his way of fighting it is to continue playing on and growing as a footballer.
“For me, it’s important to focus on what’s important to me,” he said. “I do what I love. If someone tries to distract me from that, you just have to try and block it out.
“It’ s not something that should happen, but I’m pretty strong and can handle it.”
Isak has scored two goals for Real Sociedad this season, with the club currently occupying fourth place in La Liga ahead of this weekend’s clash with league-leaders Barcelona.