Saturday, July 21, 2007

Millwall fans lash out at slavery 'political' gesture ahead of Sierra Leone clash | the Daily Mail

Millwall fans are ready to boycott their club's friendly against Sierra Leone at The Den next month because it is being held to commemorate the bicentenary of the abolition of slavery.

They are urging Lions supporters to travel to watch the reserves in action at Sutton on the same day in protest at the club being used as a "political football".

The game will be played in Bermondsey on Saturday, August 4 and the African nation will be using it as part of their preparations for an important 2010 World Cup qualifier.

But the date coincides with the visit to London of the slave ship Amistad that is currently retracing the infamous slave triangle between the Americans, London and Sierra Leone.

A Millwall Supporters Club spokesman said: "I have been in touch the club and have asked why it was decided to use the game to celebrate the abolishment of slavery.

"I explained that all fans would agree with that but Millwall FC or its fans have no links with slavery at all. Slavery was abolished over 100 years before we were even founded, many fans see the association as our club being used as a political football."

The spokesman added that Lions fans were supportive of the club hosting a friendly between Ghana and Senegal on Tuesday, August 21.

The friendly with Sierra Leone will be Millwall's final pre-season game before their League One season kicks off on August 11.

Millwall chairman Stewart Till said: "Millwall is pleased and proud to be associated with the commemoration of the abolition of slavery.

"Football has proved time and again to have tremendous potential to bring people together and we are looking forward to welcoming Sierra Leone to the Den."

Millwall fans lash out at slavery 'political' gesture ahead of Sierra Leone clash | the Daily Mail