Lille's Steeve Elana reveals racism problem in French football

Lille keeper Steeve Elana when playing for Brest, against Nice on August 27, 2011
© PA Photos
Steeve Elana says that the problem of racism in France is very severe but insists that he has learnt to leave with it.

Lille goalkeeper Steeve Elana has revealed that he has been subjected to racial abuse throughout his time in France.

The 32-year-old, who has played for Brest and Caen among others, says that he has leant to live with racism.

"I don't want to stigmatise one set of fans more than another," ESPNSoccernet quotes him as saying. "If I had to make a police complaint for racial abuse, I could do it anywhere in France, and I would spend all my time in police stations.

"It's been like that since I was 15. You learn to live with it. When the match starts, I don't hear what's being said. In Ligue 2 at Bastia, I remember some funny insults that ended up making me laugh.

"There are always a lot of people behind my goal, you have to turn that pressure into motivation. There's always something happening, and there are some things I would have preferred not to hear while warming up, but I prefer not to aggravate the situation."

Elana moved to Lille from Brest in 2012.

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