Benni McCarthy. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/ZIYAAD DOUGLAS
Benni McCarthy. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/ZIYAAD DOUGLAS

Benni McCarthy says black coaches will struggle to get jobs in European football.   

Bafana Bafana’s top goalscorer began his coaching career with a promising two-and-a-half seasons at Cape Town City, where he won the 2018 MTN8 and reached the 2017 final, and finished fifth and fourth in the Premiership.

McCarthy was asked‚ in the context of the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis in the US and the subsequent protests across the US, about his racism experiences as a player and his preferences for a job as a coach.

“Listen‚ you see what’s going on in the world right now. It’s very much still part and parcel of society today. But it’s only because of ignorance‚” McCarthy said.

“My time hasn’t been all smooth sailing. I’ve had exceptionally difficult times. No matter how much you want to make it different‚ if somebody else doesn’t want to accept this part of me there’s very little that one can do about that.

“But in today’s society‚ do you see a lot of us coaching in Europe? Because it’s just how society is that the majority of club owners don’t feel comfortable having an African or black person in charge of their team.

“We aren’t going to change that. We can only continue to fight it and hope that people see clearly‚ and do the right things one day. At least we set the tone for the kids coming in the next generation‚ and by then hopefully it’s changed.

“I’ve not experienced a situation yet where I’ve applied for a job and somebody else got it because of the colour of their skin.

“I did interview for the Hearts job [after leaving City in November] and I didn’t get it and a white man got it.”

McCarthy said he could have taken it as racism, but that was not the case.

“It was my inexperience at the time. I’ve only had my first opportunity of management‚ and now to get an opportunity to manage such a big club as Hearts‚ I think they went purely on experience.

“What the manager had achieved‚ and his experience and what he’s been through in his job was suitable for what Hearts needed at the time‚ and not because he had a lighter skin colour than me.”

Scottish Premiership club Heart of Midlothian, commonly known as Hearts, appointed 46-year-old German Daniel Stendel as their manager in December. He has coached Bundesliga 2 side Hannover 96 and English Championship side  Barnsley.

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