Banner image

In my words: Kalifa Cissé

To mark Black History Month, City first team coach Kalifa Cissé speaks about his role model growing up, Patrick Vieira, how he loves Bristol's diversity and no form of racism or discrimination should be tolerated. 

Growing up in France I had role models and the main one for me was Patrick Vieira. He was the first professional player who succeeded that came from my hometown, so that gave hope to my generation.

He was from the same city of Dreux as me. His mum lived 500 metres from my parents and we started playing football at the same club. I followed all his career, club after club, trophy after trophy, and my best memory was when he came back home to show us the World Cup trophy. I was 14, and even if I knew that it was a fake one, I was pleased to be able to touch it!

Vieira showed and proved to us what was possible to achieve with hard work, belief and determination, it was a source of inspiration and a great example.

It’s important in this Black History month for all people to celebrate and remember what has happened - good and bad. This should be a part of our education, to understand our diversity and history. Education could avoid some misunderstanding between generations and different cultures.

Bristol is a great example of diversity, you could walk around the town and I think that’s is one of the strengths of this city - I’ve never felt unwelcome in Bristol.

Personally, I’ve never really had a bad experience of racism, but I have witnessed acts of racism. That is unacceptable and shouldn’t be tolerated.

Thanks to my parents for educating me early in my life, we had open conversations about this, and it will help me for the rest of my life. I try to do the same with my children.

There is a lot of talk about the number of black coaches in football, I am not for granting a job to a coach because of his colour or origin. In this job you can’t choose a coach only on his qualification or experience, there are so many factors to take in consideration.

For me, the questions are: "Why there is not enough diversity? Can we quantify diversity? Does everyone have the same chance?"

Nowadays, social media is a real problem, it’s too easy to spread hatred there and racism is a big part of it. Because the young generation is the most exposed as they are the most active in it, we should be careful about what we say, because it can cause a lot of damage. 

Yes, it’s important to talk about racism, but more importantly, we need to continue to fight against it to not accept any form of racism or discrimination and for that everyone must stick together.

Latest News

Save money and support the Robins Foundation this Black Friday

Save money and support the Robins Foundation this Black Friday

Posted: Monday, November 23rd 2020

Premier League Charitable Fund Awards: Primary Stars

Premier League Charitable Fund Awards: Primary Stars

Posted: Monday, November 23rd 2020

Social Media Round-up: Fam bags winner against the Rams!

Social Media Round-up: Fam bags winner against the Rams!

Posted: Monday, November 23rd 2020

EFL Statement: Return of fans

EFL Statement: Return of fans

Posted: Monday, November 23rd 2020

Also from Bristol Sport

'We'll bounce back from last-gasp defeat' - Randall
Rugby icon

'We'll bounce back from last-gasp defeat' - Randall

A frustrated Harry Randall insisted the Bears would learn lessons from Sunday’s last-gasp defeat at the hands of Wasps and called on his side to bounce back from the result in round two.

Posted: Monday, November 23rd 2020 • Rugby

Stat attack: Wasps 23-20 Bristol Bears
Rugby icon

Stat attack: Wasps 23-20 Bristol Bears

Check out the best of the match stats from Sunday's Gallagher Premiership defeat to Wasps at the Ricoh Arena.

Posted: Monday, November 23rd 2020 • Rugby

As it happened: Wasps 23-20 Bristol Bears
Rugby icon

As it happened: Wasps 23-20 Bristol Bears

Re-live all of the action from Sunday's Gallagher Premiership clash with Wasps, as we dissect the key moments.

Posted: Monday, November 23rd 2020 • Rugby

Highlights: Wasps 23-20 Bristol Bears
Rugby icon

Highlights: Wasps 23-20 Bristol Bears

Bristol Bears secured a losing bonus point against Wasps in the opening round of the Gallagher Premiership on Sunday.

Posted: Monday, November 23rd 2020 • Rugby

'Key mistakes proved costly' - Lam
Rugby icon

'Key mistakes proved costly' - Lam

Pat Lam was left to rue ‘key mistakes’ but praised the effort and commitment of his side in Sunday’s last-gasp defeat to Wasps at the Ricoh Arena.

Posted: Sunday, November 22nd 2020 • Rugby