London, Nov.30 : British football has been rocked by a new race row over badges that depict black fans as golliwogs.
A daily Mail report says the metal pins show the golliwogs supporting a range of clubs, from England and Premier League giants through to Championship teams.
It is being suggested that this could encourage racial attacks against black players and fans. Campaigners and top stars desperate to drive out racism from the Beautiful Game have slammed the pins.
Ex-England striker Luther Blissett, 50, said: "Stereotypes like this are from another age. The last thing we need is someone cashing in on what is a disrespectful and hurtful representation."
Wigan's England striker Emile Heskey, 30, who has been a victim of racist abuse from opposing fans while on international duty, said: "I'm horrified to hear people are trying to make money out of something so vile."
The badges cost 2.50 pounds at calderdesigns.net, a specialist supplier of "patriotic and football badges, T-shirts, mugs and car stickers".
Martin Roberts, who runs the website, defended his products. He said: "They're just collectors' items. It's nothing to do with racism. This is PC gone ridiculous. I've got several black friends and they don't have a problem with them."
Story first published: Sunday, November 30, 2008, 13:02 [IST]