There is that thing that Sir Alex F Word does when his team plays badly – instead of considering the poor quality of the performance (as the Lord Wenger did openly and honestly after the defeat in Portugal) the manager of Manchester Bankrupts rails and rants about the referee.
Since he refuses to be interviewed by almost anyone these days, his railing and ranting is just run as a statement in the media that kow-tow to his every word, and that’s the end of that.
It is not a very edifying approach, and one would only expect individuals and organisations of the lowest level of concern for those to whom they speak to indulge in it.
Which is why it is no surprise that the Football Association have started to do the same thing. Having failed so utterly to do anything at all about the hundreds – possibly thousands – of Tottenham Hotspur fans who taunted Sol Campbell in the Portsmouth match recently, they have instead “condemned the leniency of a Teesside magistrate who failed to ban a Newcastle fan who pleaded guilty to racist chanting at the striker Mido.”
We need to get this quite clear. The approach of the Tottenham Hotspur supporters was so consistent and involved so many people that the police felt unable to intervene at the time in case it started a wholesale riot. On that issue the FA has done nothing at all.
The situation they comment on is the arrest and charging of one person.
Of course I know nothing of the situation involving Mido incident and it may well be that this was quite awful, as theTottenham affair was. But it is still noticeable that the FA have not got involved. Neither Tottenham nor Portsmouth find themselves having to answer to the FA. Nor have the FA asked for meetings with the police to find out why they were unable to maintain law and order at a football match where criminal offences were being committed wholesale.
Yes, two Tottenham Hotspur supporters have now been questioned, but that is not many when one considers what actually happened at Portsmouth.
But then the FA express “concern that their hard-line policies had not been supported” by the court in relation to the Middlesboro game. Quite probably that was either because
a) the courts are independent of pressure from self-appointed groups of busybodies – that has something to do with our constitution and is probably mentioined in Magna Carta
b) the FA is so full of double standards on this issue that taking any notice of their claims would give the man who was fined for abuse in the Middlesboro game grounds for appeal.
An FA spokesman said: “It is important to send out a strong message that racist and discriminatory chanting is totally unacceptable.”
Maybe they could explain their position on the Tottenham activities in that case.
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