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April 2021

Homophobia and racism. Let’s see what Fifa really do

By Tony Attwood

Fifa has announced that it is enquiring into “improper conduct by Mexican fans,” as well as considering discrimination by fans from Brazil (homophobia), Russia (anti-Semitism) and Croatia (racism).

Under the recently introduced rules the first racism offence by fans or players gets punished with a game in a closed stadium.  Subsequent offences, and  more serious offences can be punished by deducting points, or expulsion from a competition.

It seems that Fifa now believe that financial sanctions have no deterrent effect – although if that belief is based on the sanctions given out by Uefa, then one should perhaps say “tiny financial sanctions have no effect” as we can see below.

Brazil and Mexico were both reported for aiming abuse at the opposition keeper.   Russia and Croatia, are charged with their fans displaying fascist banners during matches.

Piara Powar, of Fifa’s anti-racism task force, is reported in the Telegraph as saying that  “The levels of homophobic abuse at some matches is also totally unacceptable. There is some rapid education required before it begins to run out of control. Fifa has some strong regulations in place and we hope they use them. Zero tolerance is the approach set out. It is what is required here.”

Because they have been cautioned before Russia and Croatia may face the threat of points deductions.  Both countries  were sanctioned by Uefa in the last European Championship in 2012.   Russia got a six-point penalty for their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign for offences including the display of illicit banners including those showing the Celtic Cross, and for monkey chants.  The Celtic Cross – a white supremacist symbol – has been seen in Brazil.

Croatia was fined three times at Euro 2012 for the display of illicit banners and monkey chants aimed at Balotelli.

But despite all the brave words we still await really big punishments for countries.  Uefa are the worst offenders fining Atletico Madrid 10,000 euros plus a partial stadium closure after their supporters were found guilty of abusing a Manchester City youth team.

This has been the pattern.  Going backwards in time, in October 2013 Uefa ordered the partial closure of CSKA Moscow’s stadium for the next Champions League tie following racist chanting at Yaya Toure.   This followed the May 2013 ruling to the effect that  racist incidents would result in a partial stadium closure for the first offence and a full stadium closure for a second, and a fine of … 50,000 euros (£40,000)
Such a pathetic approach followed years of minor fines and stadium closures.   In April 2013 Dynamo Kiev were found guilty of “racist conduct by supporters” in matches against Paris Saint-Germain and Bordeaux. In this case the stadium was ordered to be closed completely for one game.
Continuing going backwards in January 2013 Kevin Prince-Boateng led his team-mates off the pitch during a friendly of Milan against Pro Patria following insulting chanting.  Uefa did nothing claiming they had no control over friendly games.
Here’s some other classics from Uefa…
  • December 2012 – Serbia fined £65,000 for racism
  • October 2012 – Lazio fined £32,500 for racism
  • June 2012 – Russia and Spain handed combined £40,335 fine for racism
  • April 2012 – Porto fined £16,700 for racism
  • Sept 2011 – Bulgaria FA fined £34,230 for racism
  • Summer 2010 – Nick Bendtner fined £80,000 for revealing the name of his sponsor on his pants.
  • June 2008 – Crotian federation fined £10,000 for racism

So now is the time for Fifa just for once to stand up and do the right thing.

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Just once that is all we need.

Just once.

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16 comments to Homophobia and racism. Let’s see what Fifa really do

  • john

    Sepp Blatter is unlikely to provide the leadership required to ensure that racism results in appropriate sanctions. After all, he has said that racist behaviour can be forgiven following a handshake.

    FA has shown that it is no better by its pathetic response to Mr. Scudamore’s disgraceful sexist behaviour. Even Sky showed more commitment in how it dealt with Gray and Keays.

  • menace

    FIFA are probably going to ask for their bribes back! They are corrupt how can you imagine anything good to come from Blatter & FIFA.

  • Off topic.

    Can somebody please give Adrian Chiles a pair of pom-poms and send him on the pitch side as a cheerleader. The guy has nothing insightful to add to the conversation. He is just like a guy watching from a pub.

  • Hallelujah!

    Jack and Alex are coming home!

  • Robl

    @ Bootoomee, not before Roy injures them in a pioneering new line up for the last game.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    If anyone else but Gerrard were to play as poorly as he did and give away the winning goal, he would be slaughtered by the England press. Here’s saying that he will get a gentle tap on the wrist but nothing more.

  • AL

    Wenger was right, he should have signed that man if it wasn’t for the lying bastards.

  • Robl

    Didn’t even notice Henderson was on the pitch – and he was on ahead of Jack?

  • Vikrant Dogra

    Breaking News: in light of ex Premier League starlet Mario Balotelli scoring the winner for Italy and of Premier League top scorer Luis Suarez all but knocking England out of the World Cup, the FA have banned foreign players from all English competitions next season…

  • john

    Glad that the prejudice against Arsenal players has kept our players out of the line-up. If Jack had come on for the last 15 minutes, he would have been blamed for the defeat.

    They are well out of it.

    Gerrard was responsible for both Uruguay’s goals.

  • Robl,

    That’s so true. You can trust Roy to throw our boys into the meaningless game.

    I just want all our boys to return in good health. Many worry about players we should sign, I worry more about the health of those we already have.

  • dan

    The media silence is deafening, not a single word uttered about Gerrard’s assist.

  • dan

    So in effect not only did Gerrard knock England out, he also now marked Suarez for English jihad.

  • WalterBroeckx

    You could say the second goal from Suarez had Liverpool written all over it.

  • blacksheep63

    understandable given the live football but also kind of sad that this thread has descended into a discussion of England’s national team rather than taking up the very important issue Tony raises. If UEFA are going to use fines they should reflect the gate receipts of the clubs involved and my preference would be to close grounds where racism/homophobia is prevalent. So a first offence brings a 10% of the gate fine, a second 50% and a third full closure. If the culprits are away fans then I would issue a warning that a second offence will mean an automatic ban on traveling support (I’d do the same for flares Tony)

  • Thanks Blacksheep.

    Agree totally, but deviation of discussion is just a part of life.