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August 2021

Uefa is racist, and by association so is the FA.

By Tony Attwood

According to official observers at the Euros, Italy’s Balotelli was subjected to monkey chants by between 300 and 500 Croatia supporters during a group game. There were also accusations of a banana being thrown onto the pitch at the Municipal Stadium.

Uefa expressing its horror fined Croatia €80,000 for the setting-off and throwing of fireworks, and the improper conduct of supporters (racist chants, racist symbols).

The fine, it has been suggested in some quarters of the media, was just about the biggest Uefa has ever imposed for a racism-related incident – but it included the fine for the setting-off and throwing of fireworks.  In effect the fine for racism is about one half of the total: around 40,000 euros.

Nicklas Bendtner was fined €100,000 for his Paddy Power underwear, and banned for one match.

The Croatian FA HNS has previously been fined around 22,000 euros for racism and the invasion of the pitch by a supporter, and were fined around 16,000 euros by Fifa four years ago after Emile Heskey was subjected to monkey chants in a World Cup game in Zagreb.  HMS were also given an even smaller fine during Euro 2008 for racist abuse during their game against Turkey.

So the fine for repeated racism among spectators has gone up from about €16,000 to about €40,000.   Ambush marketing is at €100,000 plus a one match ban.

This is just a continuation of the past.
In October 2000 Patrick Vieira claimed that Sinisa Mihajlovic called him a black bastard and a fucking black monkey, which Mihajlovic denied. Mihajlovic claimed that Vieira had started it by calling him a gypsy.  Mihajlovic was given a two game ban.

In June 2007 Nedum Onuoha received racist abuse at the Under-21 European Championship.  The Serbian Football Federation was fined €13,000 for “racist chanting of supporters and the improper conduct of their players”.

In June 2008 Croatian fans were found guilty of “displaying a racist banner and showing racist conduct” during a Euro 2008 game against Turkey and were fined €12,000.

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In February 2012 fans of Porto gave Mario Balotelli continual raccist abuse in the Europa League match.  Porto were fined €18,000.   Manchester City got a higher fine for returning to the field less than a minute late after half-time.

The former coach of Ukraine, Oleg Blokhin, complained about African players in the local league saying: “Ukrainians should learn from Shevchenko or Blokhin and not from some zumba-bumba whom they took off a tree, gave him two bananas and now he plays in the Ukrainian League.”    He has had no sanctions, and is, I believe still some of a hero in his country.
So what shall we learn?
By handing out very small punishments for repeated racism Uefa proves that their punishments don’t work, because people do it again and again.
Small fines against national associations with no other sanctions don’t work in that clearly the associations don’t take effective action against those perpetrating the crime.  The racist supporters know that nothing happens to them, so they do it again.  Their association pay out the tiny amounts of money, lose no points, get banned from no competitions or matches (unlike Bendtner) and carry on.  So they have no motivation to change anything.
Uefa knows this, having been doing it for some time, so why does it carry on?  What logical reason is there for penalising Bendtner but not the supporters who are involved in racism and the association that refuses to deal with them?   Why is it that Uefa will not say to associations: if your supporters are found guilty of racist chanting you will be thrown out of the next competition?  No need for a fine, because that will end the country’s football income.  For a second offence they could also ban all friendly internationals against Uefa recognised clubs and countries for a period of time.
Uefa says that it wants to keep the countries in the football community, which effectively means Uefa is racist at heart.  It has the will to fine players and individuals for breaking its money making rules, but not to take even similar levels of action against racist abuse. And even similar levels of action would be unacceptable, because that would put wearing an advert on your pants as equivalent to racism.   Only if racism penalties were 1000 times the size of marketing penalties would the balance be put right.
Uefa is not a body with no will to fight racism – it is a body that supports racism, by suggesting that racism is equal to less than half the damage done by wearing an advert on your pants.  That is an insult to everyone who has ever suffered from racism, and indeed a boost to racists everywhere – and that is the crime of Uefa.
Following from this, association with such racists and joining in their parties is itself a sign of the closet acceptance of racism – and that is what the FA and indeed all football associations are guilty of.  When a host nation is chosen and this leads to the fact that the parents of players who have the honour of playing for their country cannot go, because of the racism, then something is seriously wrong with a) the organisation that chose the host nation, and b) the countries that go along with this.
I remember reading once that Uefa said that by not banning countries where nothing much is done to counteract racism, it keeps the door open to discussion and education.  Sadly I can’t now find that quote, but it rings true given that it is an empty phrase with nothing behind it to show even the slightest sign of success.
If that is their policy they have failed, and they should have abandoned the policy long ago.  The FA knows about Fifa and racism and in my mind by being part of the set-up the FA is itself colluding in the acceptance of racism at football matches.

25 comments to Uefa is racist, and by association so is the FA.

  • Tamba Turay

    How I wish 2 have people like U in the football world?
    Fantastic Post!!!!!!!!

  • WalterBroeckx

    Uefa and Fifa are only interested in 3 things:
    1. $
    2. £
    3. Euro (off topic: ffs I am from a country where the euro is the currency and yet I have no “euro” key on my key board – stupid keyboard – isn’t there a key combination to produce it?) €€€€€€ AltGr+4 DogFace €€€€€€€

    All the rest is window dressing. If it would bring in money they would support racism I think.
    Hmm now wait a minute… it brings in money. Not much but still… it brings in money.
    So getting rid of racism would be bad for their income…
    So they will fine a bit but not that much because otherwise the FA of the countries would start acting and really do something about it. But then they cannot fine them any more (gentle fines of course) and lose money.

    So they are just in fact happy that there are stupid fans around who do stupid things and act in a stupid way. Those stupid morons and what they do pay their wages.

  • jahgooner

    That is 100 percent correct,I’m glad someone has the balls and common sense to see how obvious the racism then shows us what world we are living in,not many want to raise their heads outta the sand and attack the crazyness of it all…let’s just enjoy the football or don’t let them win by mentioning it is all I hear..yea I love football but to be honest I’m getting put off of the official tournaments and even the prem because its like a haven for racists…a monaco to run away to for special race thoughts and feelings..let’s all wear a suarez tshirt!its ok foolish glen has one on…oh and suarez went to a blackmans wedding can he be racist.

  • Mahdain

    Great article Tony and have to say i agree with what you are saying.. Uefa are doing nothing to stop rather they use the fines as a punishment so as to benefit themselves by getting £€ $..

  • nicky

    In my opinion, it is largely a waste of time fining football authorities and football players.
    The amount of money now gleaned by both is so obscene that a fine of many thousands is meaningless.
    In order to counteract racism (the lessons of WW2 are soon forgotten) the punishment must hit hard. Deprive the national side from taking part in international competition for a year or more. Ban the player from playing for club or country over a similar period.
    There will be inevitable squeals of protest from those most affected but the remedy is in their own hands.

  • Stan

    For racist chants, Uefa fines a paltry sum of €40k not to talk of the crumbs it’s been gathering here and there from from countries in default. Ambush marketing €100,000 and one match ban. Uefa is a joke. Whoever is close to president of U€fa should tell them to take stiff actions against the countries that produce these racist chanters because U€fa has been sleeping and not taking actions cos I can’t refer to meagre sums uefa has been charging as actions, rather I see as uefa saying well done to those countries. If this continues, somebody somewhere will be forced to take laws into his hands and I shudder each time I think of what such a person will do and this will to a large extent, ruin the beautiful game of football. So u€fa should quit ridiculing itself and start handing stiff penalties to such offenders. U’re spot on, Uefa is a joke and a racist and the FA is also racist. That’s how it is and that’s how it should be said. No apologies

  • Sammy The Snake

    Uefa would take racism seriously if there was money involved.

    Having said that, it is rather difficult to punish a whole country for the stupidity of 300 racist supporters. Bendtner did the deeds and got the punishment, but can you punish the entire population of Croatia for the wrong deeds of s small bunch of idiots?!

  • It’s a shame UEFA’s sponsors don’t take notice of this – that’d hit UEFA where it hurt.

  • WalterBroeckx

    If Uefa would ban Croatia (or any other country) for one year from international football and thus make them lose the games in the qualification rounds during that year with a 5-0FF score the government and football federation would act and get rid of those idiots the next day.

    They would identify them and make sure they never enter a football ground any more.

    The same way they did with the hooligans in football. Identify and punish them personally is the best way to deal with them.

  • They did kind of ban/punish them by sending the referee out to mug them blind against Spain?

    It does lack transparency though 😉

  • Matt

    Don’t forget that FIFA is headed up by a man who believes that racism can be overcome with a handshake!

    The unfortunate truth seems to be that while we come from a melting pot of multi-culturalism and have fought off racism to a high degree in Britain other countries do not have the same attitude.

    Someone asked how we can punish an entire nation for the behavior of a few rotten eggs. We have gone to great lengths in this country to identify the ‘bad eggs’ and we ban them from stadiums and we stop them travel during international tournaments by taking away their passports.

    Why can’t other countries make the same efforts?

    And if they don’t? In my opinion bans or points deductions should be imposed on guilty nations.

    The national FAs have a responsibility to make sure the people they allow to travel and support them are well behaved and positive ambassadors for their country. Like the players on the pitch.

  • silenetstan

    “The FA knows about Fifa and racism and in my mind by being part of the set-up the FA is itself colluding in the acceptance of racism at football matches.”

    what absolute rubbish.
    So you want the FA to pull out of EUFA? because in your words that is their only option if they are not to be branded racist. So who do England play against Tony? Plus if you do not belong to EUFA, forget teh Champions League too.
    Think before you write

  • ian

    Points deduction for the next qualifying rounds for the countries involved would make the relative FAs take action.

    Having a team start off on minus 2, 3 or even more points would soon bring the relative authorities to address and stop it!

    Think NB52 should change his name for the next Euros to Paddy Power! Could he then get fined for having his own name on his pants?

    In fact the Danish FA could get the whole team to change there names to any direct competitor of the sponsors, which would make a real mockery of their competition in the face of disgusting racist behaviour

    They could have the following team

    Pepsi Cola (GK)
    Voda Fone(RB)
    Nike (CB)
    Pana Sonic (CB)
    Bud Weiser (LB)
    Burger King (MF)
    Nat West (MF)
    Ford Focus (MF)
    William Hill (RW)
    Paddy Power (CF)
    Lad Brooks (LW)

    Am sure there are better ones

  • Ukpunisher


    Read the article again. At no point is it suggested that the fa leave uefa.
    It is suggested by being part of the setup and doing nothing about it they effectively condone uefas behaviour.

    The fa should be logging formal complaints and appeals against the fines. Remember some of the offences against English teams and players.

    Fact is they don’t.

    I’ve got a welsh mate. He was seeing a girl and got invited to dinner with her parents.
    Her dad was totally racist and kept using the n word and hurling profanity at various races.

    Eventually my mate stood up and said look I can’t listen to this as I have lots of friends and family from all over the world. And he left.

    That took a lot of guts and principles.

    That’s what the fa don’t have either of.

  • robin banks

    Nice article and so true.

    Look forward to your next post.


  • Mick

    I absolutely agree with the general thrust of this article. However it is interesting to note that Paul Elliot, heavily invovlved in the Kick It Out campaign, was recently interviewed on Talk Shite. I only caught the tail end of it but (and someone correct me if I am wrong) he was actually praising Uefa for their stance on racism so far in the UEFA Cup which did strike me as surprising.

  • Matt Clarke

    Thanks Tony.

    It is a shame for Uefa and the FA that their stated ‘zero tolerance’ of racism is so hollow.

    What they meant was we have a zero tolerance of anything that offends the people who give them £$€.

  • perhaps the weak men of the sweet f.a and UEFA (a.k.a. you effing ass#####) have no chance of getting a banana thrown at them ergo their disinterest. if the useless media blows hard enough and the sponsors begin to take notice, you will see some activity.

    oftentimes the mentally constrained respond only to the basest of stimuli.

  • Andrei

    @Matt “Don’t forget that FIFA is headed up by a man who believes that racism can be overcome with a handshake!

    What is your suggestion on how to fight racism? Firing squads? Gulags? And what exactly are proposing to fight? Monkey chants? Financial inequality? Racial ghettos?

  • Topovacha

    Great great article Tony, thank you.

    If UEFA is acting as “the boss” to the international FA’s and getting money from them for various scandals, then why they don’t invest these money in something that will help rectify these scandals (more stewards, technology etc…)?

    Or even more, why they don’t give those money from the fine of the russian FA to the stewards who were beaten by the russian hooligans outside of the stadium? That incident was shocking…

    As long as those money from fines goes directly to the UEFA pockets and are not invested or given to the people who suffered by various incidents, we can openly say that UEFA is corrupt, racist organisation that don’t care about football, they care only for the profit.

    Something needs to be done, it’s getting very serious.

  • Topovacha


    As a start, just a thought, banning caring bananas inside the stadium will do. For those who will complain that its just food, give them banana juice for free.

    Same as for fireworks, lighters, coins…that should be banned and confiscated at the gates of the stadiums, increasing security significantly.

    For racist chants, I agree its not so easy to ban, but today’s technology will do wonders.

    Why they cant take example from the England fight against hooliganism? It’s there, UEFA just need to learn from it and implement.

  • Andrei

    @Topvacha “As a start, just a thought, banning caring bananas inside the stadium will do. For those who will complain that its just food, give them banana juice for free.

    For racist chants, I agree its not so easy to ban, but today’s technology will do wonders.”

    You cannot be serious. What you are describing is a police state and will do very little in actually fighting racism. Unless you are happy with tucking those pesky minorities away in les banlieues as long as you don’t hear monkey chants at Stade de France.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    The respective FAs should do more to prevent and isolate the so called mindless morons who distrupt others viewing pleasure by their inmature behaviour .Hit them hard in their pockets and ban them or deduct points for future tournments.
    Sponsors should listen to the masses and put their money elsewhere if the FAs don’t take corrective action.
    Even here there is stupid chants and booing of individuals because national/racial hatred – Benayoun was targeted in Malaysia when Chelsea played a friendly.

  • Pad Gooner

    Great Post Tony!

  • Loved the article , Great post.