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GG Riva

Racism in Football

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I'm a bit surprised that nobody's started a thread on this topic after the stooshie down south over the vile racist abuse directed at England's black players in Montenegro.

Perhaps we've all become a bit anaesthetised to it, or more likely we've been too preoccupied with the evaporation of our promotion play off hopes, after consecutive home defeats in 72 hours. Sterling's stand against these muppets is commendable, as is the Premier League's campaign, but more needs to be done by FIFA and UEFA to stamp it out, imo. 

Let's not kid ourselves that there is no racism in these islands, either. It's just not as overt, partially because there are so many black players, especially south of the border, but also because the British public have been educated and the majority have accepted ethnic diversity and understand that the colour of your skin is a mere detail. That and the ability of football to unite fans all over the world.

When I was a kid, Pele was universally acclaimed as the greatest footballer the game had ever seen. Nobody dwelt on the fact that he was black. It was completely irrelevant. All we could see was his breathtaking skill.....
 

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Racism creeping in while society is having a political meltdown and going towards extreme views. Did this not happen in the 70s and 80s if the older crew can enlighten me?

Is it a societal problem raising it's head more predominantly again due to what's going on at the moment?  

Edited by Fifes Elite

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I dont think that racism is solely a footballing issue.  I simply think that football, and football fans, because of the levels of coverage, highlight a wider social issue.  

I think that we need to be careful of labelling all abuse at black footballers as racial abuse, however.  Raheem Sterling, for example, has a bit of reputation for diving.  I may choose to boo him for his cheating, not because he's black.  Unfortunately, if I boo him for diving, somebody will twist that to suggest its racial.  

What happened in Montenegro, FIFA and UEFA need to take action and ban Montenegro for the next qualification campaign.  It doesnt sort the wider social issue, but it potentially sends out a warning to other nations that racial abuse will not be tolerated, and that visiting players are not subjected it.  

 

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22 hours ago, Fifes Elite said:

Racism creeping in while society is having a political meltdown and going towards extreme views. Did this not happen in the 70s and 80s if the older crew can enlighten me?

Is it a societal problem raising it's head more predominantly again due to what's going on at the moment?  

I have to reluctantly accept that I fall into the parameters you unflatteringly describe, FE, so let me say that racism is not a new phenomenon. If anything, it was tacitly accepted by society, in the same way that sectarian behaviour is today, with a philosophical shrug of the shoulders as something that, like the poor, will always be with us. Not only that, the victims of racial abuse were expected to ''man up'' and get on with it. This was the price you had to pay for being a successful, black, pro footballer in Britain. Some Neanderthals limited themselves to racially abusing black players in opposing teams while others even abused black players in their own team. I recall a friendly in which England beat Brazil 2-0 in the Maracana and John Barnes score a truly wonderful solo goal, in a slalom run from the halfway line, a goal any Brazilian would have been proud to score. The England party had some ''fans'' flying with them on their short, South American tour. They were interviewed by journalists as the flew from Rio to Chile. One of them opined that England had only beaten Brazil 1-0 because the goal scored by the n****r didn't count.....

It wasn't much better in Scotland. I remember a young Celtic fan proudly boasting to me that he and his pals bought every banana in a Cowdenbeath shop before heading to Parkhead, where they proceeded to throw them at Rangers England international winger, Mark Walters. This incident at least got some media coverage, but no sanctions were imposed on either the culprits or the club they were allegedly fans of. 

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1 hour ago, Vinnie said:

I dont think that racism is solely a footballing issue.  I simply think that football, and football fans, because of the levels of coverage, highlight a wider social issue.  

I think that we need to be careful of labelling all abuse at black footballers as racial abuse, however.  Raheem Sterling, for example, has a bit of reputation for diving.  I may choose to boo him for his cheating, not because he's black.  Unfortunately, if I boo him for diving, somebody will twist that to suggest its racial.  

What happened in Montenegro, FIFA and UEFA need to take action and ban Montenegro for the next qualification campaign.  It doesnt sort the wider social issue, but it potentially sends out a warning to other nations that racial abuse will not be tolerated, and that visiting players are not subjected it.  

 

Of course, racism is not confined to football, Vinnie, but it has to be tackled wherever it manifests itself. Let's leave diving out of our discussion for now as it's a distraction to the main issue. Why wait until the next competition to ban Montenegro? A punishment not administered swiftly, loses its relevance.

My preferred sanction would be that, as soon as the match officials hear any racist abuse, be it chanting, monkey noises etc. they abandon the match and the game is awarded as a 3-0 victory to the team whose player(s) is being abused. That would soon put a stop to it, imo.

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56 minutes ago, GG Riva said:

Of course, racism is not confined to football, Vinnie, but it has to be tackled wherever it manifests itself.

Of course it does - however, racism is less blatant in general society.  I think folk who are racist tend not to be so openly racist when on their own, its "safer" to be more openly racist when you can be anonymous. 

1 hour ago, GG Riva said:

Why wait until the next competition to ban Montenegro? A punishment not administered swiftly, loses its relevance.  My preferred sanction would be that, as soon as the match officials hear any racist abuse, be it chanting, monkey noises etc. they abandon the match and the game is awarded as a 3-0 victory to the team whose player(s) is being abused. That would soon put a stop to it, imo.

Thats a reasonable suggestion, however, it unfairly penalises the players. Several of the Montenegro players play outside of their own country, they are potentially less likely to be racist having mixed with players of other nationalities and race and background.  They players shouldnt be punished.  

However, if it was a player that the referee heard being racist, then I would accept that such sanctions take place, and that the player involved be banned from all forms of professional sports.  

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The only thing that I would disagree with are the calls to ban Montenegro.

Of course racism will be more prevalent there. There has been less immigration - and a minuscule amount of non whites in the population. The country is poorer and less well educated. It doesn’t excuse racism, but it explains that the starting point is different from where we are in other parts of Europe.

Closed door punishment would send a message, and back up those fighting racism there.

A ban however smacks of treating them like kids, and in a wider context would be more likely to entrench right wing nationalism. Punishing a whole country as being racist is effectively branding the entire population as such. Has nothing been learned from Brexit and Trump?

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14 minutes ago, Teuchter said:

Of course racism will be more prevalent there. There has been less immigration - and a minuscule amount of non whites in the population. The country is poorer and less well educated. It doesn’t excuse racism, but it explains that the starting point is different from where we are in other parts of Europe.

I was going to add something along these lines too.  

To a degree, you have the same issues in Russia with their club games.  Old communist nations, where perhaps there was always an air of distrust of anyone who was an outsider.  I imagine it'll take a couple of generations for their attitudes to change? 

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UEFA now calling for games to be stopped for racist abuse.

At this stage there are no other details, such as abandoning games,  my understanding from the BBC website is that games will be delayed - though thats not a major deterrent in my eyes.

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13 hours ago, Vinnie said:

UEFA now calling for games to be stopped for racist abuse.

At this stage there are no other details, such as abandoning games,  my understanding from the BBC website is that games will be delayed - though thats not a major deterrent in my eyes.

I'm pretty sure the referee's already had the power to do this and that they just never get used 

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Last night, one of Juves youngsters was abused by Calgliari fans.  Juve defender Bonnucci suggests the young kid is partly to blame.  If your own team mate is blaming you for the abuse you suffer, what chance do you have?  Rather than criticise the opposition fans, you blame your pal?  

And this is in Italy!  Who have players from all over the world, and have had for many years.  And Calgliari have had a number of black players over the years...

Worlds gone mental-er!! 

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was it just abuse ( and by abuse I mean folk calling him a **** in Italian) or was it specifically racial abuse being referred to? ( I haven't seen anything about it as I'm at work)

 

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1 hour ago, the saline hill puma said:

was it just abuse ( and by abuse I mean folk calling him a **** in Italian) or was it specifically racial abuse being referred to?

I alluded to this in the thread earlier.  When is abuse of a black player simply abuse rather than racial? Is all abuse of black players automatically racial?

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On 01/04/2019 at 12:31, Vinnie said:

 Old communist nations, where perhaps there was always an air of distrust of anyone who was an outsider.

It's like that in some fife villages I have been in😂

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16 hours ago, Vinnie said:

UEFA now calling for games to be stopped for racist abuse.

At this stage there are no other details, such as abandoning games,  my understanding from the BBC website is that games will be delayed - though thats not a major deterrent in my eyes.

I agree with your conclusion, if it's just a case of stopping and restarting a game after a short pause. I'd imagine that if there was any repeat in the same game, the ref would have the power to abandon the game completely and award the game 2 or 3-0 to the abused player(s) team. It would be better to have a zero tolerance approach though. Why give these muppets a second chance? Some of them would probably think it was smart to hurl abuse in the first place, knowing it would not disadvantage their team permanently. It might even disturb their opponents momentum if they were on top at the time.

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