Peter Anderson ⚽ Once again, the spectre of racism raised its ugly barnet over the parapet of European football.

And once again FIFA and UEFA have no meaningful or co-ordinated plan to eradicate it. 

England travelled to Hungary for their World Cup qualifier and as predicted the home fans subjected the black England players to monkey chants and other abuse. It was with some pride that I watched Man City's Raheem Sterling score a goal, then run to the corner flag and beam with joy as the chants and bottles rained down on him. His defiance was complete. The best way to stick it up the boo boys is to stuff them on the pitch.

One English newspaper called the racism "absurd but inevitable" as the Hungarians had been banned from having home support for 3 games for a previous show of racism in the stadium during the recent Euro championship. However, the ban came from UEFA and, as the World Cup qualifiers come under the purview of FIFA, the ban did not apply for the England match. Madness! So, the Hungarian FA were able to fill their stadium with 60,000 spectators, many of whom joined in with the racist abuse. Will FIFA now move to punish Hungary hard enough to ensure compliance with its racism rules? I won't hold my breath.

My first encounter with football racism was back in the late 80s when Linfield signed Tony Coly and Sam Kammal. At a game in the Oval the Glen men monkey chanted and threw bananas at them every time they came near. 80s football is thankfully long past, even though some want to return there. For me, that was when I first saw the injustice of racism in football. We need the FIFA and UEFA to stamp it out, but they are all over the shop when it comes to tackling it. 35 years on from the Oval and it is still happening regularly in Eastern Europe.

Eight years ago, Yaya Touré was monkey chanted at a game for Man City against CSKA in Moscow. Touré, a speaker of fluent Russian, spoke warmly at the pre match presser about his love of Moscow and still they monkey chanted at him during the game. UEFA's pathetic response was to close one section of the ground for the next ECL game against Bayern Munich. CSKA said this was "an overreaction". Now, 8 years later, we have UEFA banning Hungary for only three games (and not in FIFA games) for spoiling their showcase event with racist attacks on visiting players. 

Why do the authorities seem to soft pedal with Eastern European countries? Fear? Money? FIFA and UEFA could practically stop racism overnight by introducing complete long-term bans for FAs that do not stop racism in their stadiums. Their unwillingness to take the necessary steps is a damning indictment of current chiefs of world football.

Peter Anderson is a Unionist with a keen interest in sports.

Absurd But Inevitable

Peter Anderson ⚽ Once again, the spectre of racism raised its ugly barnet over the parapet of European football.

And once again FIFA and UEFA have no meaningful or co-ordinated plan to eradicate it. 

England travelled to Hungary for their World Cup qualifier and as predicted the home fans subjected the black England players to monkey chants and other abuse. It was with some pride that I watched Man City's Raheem Sterling score a goal, then run to the corner flag and beam with joy as the chants and bottles rained down on him. His defiance was complete. The best way to stick it up the boo boys is to stuff them on the pitch.

One English newspaper called the racism "absurd but inevitable" as the Hungarians had been banned from having home support for 3 games for a previous show of racism in the stadium during the recent Euro championship. However, the ban came from UEFA and, as the World Cup qualifiers come under the purview of FIFA, the ban did not apply for the England match. Madness! So, the Hungarian FA were able to fill their stadium with 60,000 spectators, many of whom joined in with the racist abuse. Will FIFA now move to punish Hungary hard enough to ensure compliance with its racism rules? I won't hold my breath.

My first encounter with football racism was back in the late 80s when Linfield signed Tony Coly and Sam Kammal. At a game in the Oval the Glen men monkey chanted and threw bananas at them every time they came near. 80s football is thankfully long past, even though some want to return there. For me, that was when I first saw the injustice of racism in football. We need the FIFA and UEFA to stamp it out, but they are all over the shop when it comes to tackling it. 35 years on from the Oval and it is still happening regularly in Eastern Europe.

Eight years ago, Yaya Touré was monkey chanted at a game for Man City against CSKA in Moscow. Touré, a speaker of fluent Russian, spoke warmly at the pre match presser about his love of Moscow and still they monkey chanted at him during the game. UEFA's pathetic response was to close one section of the ground for the next ECL game against Bayern Munich. CSKA said this was "an overreaction". Now, 8 years later, we have UEFA banning Hungary for only three games (and not in FIFA games) for spoiling their showcase event with racist attacks on visiting players. 

Why do the authorities seem to soft pedal with Eastern European countries? Fear? Money? FIFA and UEFA could practically stop racism overnight by introducing complete long-term bans for FAs that do not stop racism in their stadiums. Their unwillingness to take the necessary steps is a damning indictment of current chiefs of world football.

Peter Anderson is a Unionist with a keen interest in sports.

8 comments:

  1. Peter....



    Why do the authorities seem to soft pedal with Eastern European countries? Fear? Money? FIFA and UEFA could practically stop racism overnight by introducing complete long-term bans for FAs that do not stop racism in their stadiums



    The English FA's attempt to stamp out racism in football isn't a bench mark either.

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  2. Unknown - if your comment is for publication please sign off on it. TPQ does not carry comments by "Unknown"

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  3. Peter

    Tackling the Hungarian FA on racism and homophobia will probably lead to a collision with the far right government of Victor Orban. If so, bring it on as neither deserve to belong to civilised communities of nations and sporting organisations.

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  4. Fuck the Glens, wouldn't expect any better from that shower. I remember Celtic fans throwing bananas at Mark Walters at Celtic park, he just peeled one and took a bite. Best defiance yet.

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  5. Barry
    If western European FAs can, more or less, eradicate racism from the stadiums then why should the Eastern Europeans get such paltry punishments? As you say in Hungary Orban has encouraged or enabled the far right.

    Steve
    Celtic fans wouldn't do that. Celtic fans are all saints! It was probably undercover Rangers fans LOL

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    Replies
    1. Peter,

      Aye, the same saints who delight in calling us Black Bastards!

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  6. Good piece - like most other things it will take time and there will always be a push back.
    Ruud Gullit once said that the people who do these things might not always at heart be racists but are trying to put put players off their game and would call you a red bastard rather than a black one if they thought that would work. And then we read about the things said on pitch to Philly McMahon about his brother who died from heroin addiction. Still, I just find it hard to buy that someone would go to a game with bananas to throw at black players if they were not racist.

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  7. AM
    Good point. I remember the Linfield players getting the banana treatment and feeling outraged. If they had been wearing Glentoran tops would I have been so outraged? Or would I have laughed along with the herd? Bluemen were not beyond bringing swastikas to games.

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