SHAKA Hislop has partially attributed the spate of high-profile racist incidents in football across Europe this season to the “frightening” rise of the far right in politics around the world.

Immigration and border control have been the prominent issues in elections in both the United Kingdom and United States, where Hislop is now based, in recent years.

Hislop, the former Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper who helped to launch the Show Racism the Red Card charity in 1996, believes football fans have felt “empowered” by right-wing politicians.

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And the 50-year-old has claimed that right wing populism is the single biggest issue anti-racism campaigners in the game have had to contend with during the last two decades.

“Without question, what we have seen in politics has had a damaging impact on our relations with each other and with people who don’t look like us,” he said. “That has spilled over into football.

“What you have also seen is a rather ridiculous acceptance of the language and rhetoric that comes with far right politics. It is spilling over into how we as football fans support our clubs and what we feel we are empowered to say within football stadiums.

“What we have seen within our politics today is as frightening a single issue as we have had to deal with in the last 20 years.”

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Hislop added: “As parents we want to leave this world a better place for our children, to see us all coming together and living in harmony. Then you see this huge shift. It happened suddenly.

“In the last election in the US three years ago, and there has been a similar timeline in the UK, we seem to have stepped back 25 years. It is really concerning after decades of work and trying to rid football of racism. It is concerning.”