The racist chanting during last night's game between England U-21s and Serbia U21s, and the insane scenes that followed the final whistle, were a sour ending to what should’ve been a joyous occasion for the U-21 side, with the headlines dominated by the events in Krusevac. Many have now called on UEFA to come down hard on Serbia as a result of their behaviour on Tuesday night, with Rio Ferdinand and Phil Neville, of Manchester United and Everton respectively, joining Rose in calls for the Eastern European outfit to be banned.
Their sentiments are echoed by all those associated with the game. There is absolutely no place for racism in football, from an international level all the way down to grassroots. UEFA must act out and hand a severe a punishment to Serbia in order for the message to begin to reach all the guilty parties.
This isn’t the first time Serbia have been accused of racist abuse either, having been found guilty of ‘racist chanting of supporters and the improper conduct of their players’ back in June 2007, incidentally against England in an U-21 encounter. The punishment handed to the Serbian FA? A £16,500 fine.
Rio Ferdinand and Phil Neville, of Manchester United and Everton respectively, joining Rose in calls for the Eastern European outfit to be banned
This time, however, a fine simply won’t cut it. UEFA have made a habit of being too lenient when it comes to punishing racial abuse, fining Spain £44,750 in 2004, Croatia £10,000 in 2008, Bulgaria £34,230 in 2010 and Russia and Spain £40,335 in 2012.
In contrast, Nicklas Bendtner was fined £80,000 for exposing sponsored underwear with betting syndicate Paddy Power in full view during Denmark’s Euro 2012 encounter with Portugal. The fact that UEFA were prepared to hand a substantially larger fine to the on-loan Juventus striker than to the respective FA’s of those guilty of racial abuse goes to show the priorities of Europe’s governing body.
UEFA need to really begin clamping down on racism and fining the respective FA’s aren’t going to help matter
However, now is the time to step up the disciplinary action of the crime committed. UEFA need to really begin clamping down on racism and fining the respective FA’s aren’t going to help matter. Rather than taking monetary actions against the guilty nations, make sure the fans who place them in an impossible position are made to suffer.
They’re the ones causing the problems and, like Tuesday night, making the monkey chants from the stands. Punish them suitably and ban them from games or better yet, ban the nations from taking part in international encounters and tournaments.
Why should players such as Rose been subject to the disgusting behaviour of a brainless few and then, effectively, be allowed get away with it, regardless of whether their face has been plastered on national TV or not.
The governing body has been far too lenient on racism in the past, but now is the time to change. The FA have condemned the scenes, but have now insist the matter is with UEFA. Your move, Michel Platini.
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