Players | Managers | Clubs | Grounds | National Teams | Leagues & Cups
    The Beautiful Game
    Football Stories


Racism - will it ever go away? - 15/10/2002

Racism - will it ever go away?
Dyer, Heskey and Cole - all abused
   Warren Barton
   Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink
   Andy Cole
   Thierry Henry
 Leagues & Cups:
   Champions League

England’s recent game in Slovakia has once again brought up the question of racism in football. I honestly thought we’d turned a corner about 18 months ago, but with numerous incidents during recent Champions League fixtures and then after the behaviour at Saturday's game, it appears that we still need to work on educating people.

For me, politics and football do not and should not mix. You can go back in history and find numerous examples where football has been the victim and puppet of politics. We all know how some of the greatest club sides in the world have been linked to fascism and although those days are mostly behind us, you’ll always find political agitators jumping on football as a medium for their propaganda.

One of the reasons why we’ve been able to make improvements is because of the multi-cultural nature of the Premiership. If you go back to the 80’s and even more so, the 70’s, most clubs employed players from only England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. As time has gone on many more black players have come into the game and many more players from virtually all corners of the world now play in England. Look at fantastic players such as Henry, Hasselbaink, Andy Cole, etc etc. if someone asked you what you thought about them, you’ll no doubt be thinking about them as great footballers – the colour of their skin simply is irrelevant. So much racism is based on ignorance.

We’ve also got organisations such as ‘Kick Racism out of Football’ which have helped to educate people. A lot of footballers have got behind this campaign, I know that Warren Barton in particular has spent a lot of time working for them. I think we all need to stand up and be counted. When someone is shouting abuse, it would be great if other fans were able to make it known that their actions were damaging – to the players, to the club, and to the game in general!

What UEFA do about it I don’t know, but perhaps the wholesale banning of fans is the wrong approach – what about decent fans, and the effect on football? We’d be harming the game and letting the idiots beat us. Why not identify the section of grounds where abuse has been heard, then send in undercover police or stewards to identify the culprits and ring-leaders? When these individuals have been caught, they should then banned, it’s as simple as that! Time will tell, but lets hope this is one step back and we’ll shortly be taking two steps forward.

What is your opinion about this article?
Start a new topic at our forum!

Print article


Coporate tickets for NUFC games

Bez announces a corporate hospitality facility to entertain up to eight people during every home Newcastle United Premiership fixture. For further details please click on the link... [More]