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New Ideas For Racism In Soccer

Updated on February 11, 2013
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Racism is arguably the most controversial and horrific element in all of soccer. While racism in soccer is was historically found in Eastern Europe, it has spread rapidly from England, to America, to Italy. We all know that racism is wrong and that action needs to be taken, but what action is the question. Should the ref stop the game? Should the players walk off? or should we resume the usual punishment of closed door games? It's time to find some effective solutions to stop racism, before it takes over the sport we all love.

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Previous Attempts To Stop Racism

While racism was an issue in previous years, you cannot say that it was as large scale as it is today. Mainly, punishment for racism resulted in closed door games (no fans allowed) and/or fines. Croatia's FA was fined €25,000 for fan racism vs Ireland in the EURO 2012, while Bulgaria and Hungary will be playing behind closed doors in future times due to racism. Despite the efforts of the federations that rule soccer, these punishments hardly work. The fans who are being racist aren't the ones paying the fines, and teams usually don't suffer (except for financially) playing without a crowd. Other campaigns such as the "Kick It Out" T-Shirt campaign has been oddly bashed by players and fans alike. Rio Ferdinand refused to wear a "Kick It Out" shirt in warm-up, dispite the rest of the United squad wearing them. Rio's brother Anton was racially abused by Chelsea's John Terry, which makes the matter rather ironic.

New Solution #1: Abandon The Game

While this idea is not entirely new, it is growing rapidly in popularity. AC Milan's Kevin Prince-Boateng walked off of the pitch during a friendly vs fourth-tier team Pro Patria after being racially abused several times. The rest of Boateng's team followed him off the pitch, as did the referees, and the game was abandoned. While this walk-off certainly caused a lot of press, it resulted in mixed feelings. AC Milan's coach Massimiliano Allegri said "Walking off was the right choice when faced with something like this", however FIFA president Sepp Blatter said that “I don’t think [walking off] is the solution”. When you ground it down to the pulp, Boateng's method was both effective and sensible. The crowd was given multiple warnings to stop the racist chants before he walked off, so it was a sensible action, and it both ended the racism and put it to shame.

If only we kept our mouths shut..... *Note: I've got nothing against Bolton and just a little against United, and I'm just using them for demonstrational purposes*
If only we kept our mouths shut..... *Note: I've got nothing against Bolton and just a little against United, and I'm just using them for demonstrational purposes* | Source

New Solution #2: Deduct Points

Unlike it's "sibling" punishment of fining teams money for racism by fans, this docks points from teams who have racist fans. While this may not be suitable for a first-time minor offense, it would work well for second, third-time and major racism. It directly effects the club's performance, and will make supporters have a secong thought about the effects of racism. Nobody wants to be the reason why they lost the chase for the title or got relegated, but with this system it would make the racist supporters feel the wrath of being "those fans" who "got us relegated" or "made us lose the title".

What Do You Think Is/Would Be The Most Effective In Ending Racism

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    • LaurencePJones profile image

      As username 

      5 years ago from York

      Blatter is quite correct: namecalling in the heat of the moment can and should be resolved by a handshake at the end of the game. Otherwise the whole thing will be blown out of proportion and sport will be an activity for over-sensitive pansies.

    • nlazar profile imageAUTHOR

      N. Lazar 

      5 years ago from USA

      Honestly this (along with any) plan isn't fool-proof. I guess an enquiry about if they are season-ticket holder for any teams, if other fans say that those fans cheer for another team could work.

    • Thomas Swan profile image

      Thomas Swan 

      5 years ago from New Zealand

      Yea that was one of the silly things Blatter came out with. There is a possible problem with serious punishments like docking points. What if a group of opposition fans put on the football shirts of their rivals and start shouting racist abuse to get their rivals docked points?

    • nlazar profile imageAUTHOR

      N. Lazar 

      5 years ago from USA

      Quotes on racism by Blatter:

      "He should say that this is a game. We are in a game, and at the end of the game, we shake hands, and this can happen, because we have worked so hard against racism and discrimination."

      In English: Racism can be solved by a handshake

    • Thomas Swan profile image

      Thomas Swan 

      5 years ago from New Zealand

      Docking points would eliminate it pretty quickly. If the players aren't happy, they can represent a club that isn't supported by racists. The authorities have been too weak on racism for a long time. Some of the comments Blatter has come out with have been outrageous.

    • CCahill profile image

      CCahill 

      5 years ago from England

      It would a shame for the poor players to have their work undone by the fans but i guess one things for sure, if the club started loosing points and money cos of it, i'm sure their efforts to kick racism from the game and their own terraces would suddenly be a lot stronger ;)

    • profile image

      Richard-Murray 

      5 years ago

      I dont think there is a right action smply because, t isnt like bias is dead off pitch and off pitch bias has more problems than on pitch.

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