Uganda Cranes star Mike Azira has urged African players to consider joining the Major League Soccer if they want to avoid racial discrimination currently on the rise in European leagues.
The Chicago Fire midfielder believes that the recent spates in racial abuse of African and black players in Europe such as Romelu Lukaku, Anthony Rudiger and Moussa Marega will make African players troop to America for professional contracts.
“In Europe, it’s been really awful. If you see the things done to (Romelu) Lukaku, and these other great players, I feel like it kills the game,” Azira told The Whistle podcast.
“And I want to be in an environment where people love each other and people have respect for one another. Humanity comes first,” he added.
The 32-year-old was part of the Uganda Cranes squad that took part in the 2019 African Cup of Nations in Egypt. The tournament had a record 44 players from MLS, a manifestation that its attractiveness is growing.
He has also played for Seattle Sounders, Colorado Rapids and Montreal Impact.
On Monday, Leeds United goalkeeper Kiko Casilla received an eight-match ban racially abusing Charlton Athletic's Jonathan Leko. Casilla was also fined £60,000 and ordered to attend a face-to-face education session after the charge was found proven by a Football Association independent regulatory commission.