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

Season cards available by phone

Season cards available by phone

Posted: Wednesday, April 21st 2021

Receive a free junior home shirt and come over to the light

Receive a free junior home shirt and come over to the light

Posted: Tuesday, April 20th 2021

Report: Hull City U23s 3-1 City U23s

Report: Hull City U23s 3-1 City U23s

Posted: Tuesday, April 20th 2021

MansionBet Match Preview: Wycombe Wanderers (A)

MansionBet Match Preview: Wycombe Wanderers (A)

Posted: Tuesday, April 20th 2021

Also from Bristol Sport

Secure your Season Card now
Rugby icon

Secure your Season Card now

Supporters who renew/purchase their Season Card before Wednesday (April 21st) will be entered into a prize draw to win their season card for FREE.

Posted: Tuesday, April 20th 2021 • Rugby

BBL reveals new format for 2021 play-offs
Basketball icon

BBL reveals new format for 2021 play-offs

The British Basketball League has revealed an updated format for the 2021 play-offs.

Posted: Tuesday, April 20th 2021 • Basketball

The importance of defence: Why 18iT decided to sponsor Bristol Flyers
Basketball icon

The importance of defence: Why 18iT decided to sponsor Bristol Flyers

Learn more about how Bristol Flyers' defensive-minded philosophy attracted a new commercial partner to the club.

Posted: Tuesday, April 20th 2021 • Basketball

‘Chiefs pose the ultimate challenge’ - Lam
Rugby icon

‘Chiefs pose the ultimate challenge’ - Lam

Pat Lam says Exeter Chiefs pose the ultimate challenge, as his Bears side prepare to welcome the reigning Premiership and European Champions to Ashton Gate for Friday’s top-of-the-table clash.

Posted: Tuesday, April 20th 2021 • Rugby

Win a signed shirt from Gallagher, your local insurance broker
Rugby icon

Win a signed shirt from Gallagher, your local insurance broker

How well do you know the Gallagher Premiership? As part of our UK-wide ‘Tackling Tomorrow. Together’ initiative, here’s your chance to win a signed shirt from your favourite Premiership Rugby Club.

Posted: Tuesday, April 20th 2021 • Rugby