It is hard to believe that in this day and age we are still dealing with racism in football. Yesterday, the match between AC Milan and Roma at the San Siro was stopped due to racist chants coming from the visiting supporters. Announcements had to be made for fans to stop shouting racist comments or the match would be called. They did continue the game after a few minutes and the match ended in a goalless draw.
How does this happen? What goes through someone’s mind when they are preparing to leave the house for a match? Let see; Car keys…check. Tickets…check, Racist Song Book…check, Bananas to hurl on the pitch….check. Do people plan for this or is it just a couple of liquored up idiots that start and those around assume it is all in good fun and decide to join in.
What pains me more is that FIFA and UEFA have allowed such nonsense to go on for as long as they have without doing something close to nothing about it. I will give FIFA credit that they have formed a new taskforce back in March to combat the issue but all they have done is propose tougher penalties and want to add observers at the games.
That is all good, but until these rules become laws and players, regardless of their status in the game, are held accountable, nothing will change. If a player as talented as Luis Suarez is giving 10 game ban for biting but only eight for racist remarks then this issue will never go away. If Suarez had been banned half the season and Liverpool fined, now we have something. Next time Roma supporters want to travel to an away game; tell them to stay home, they are not wanted. Start banning these so called fans for life and now we have a start.
The longer FIFA and UEFA allow this issue to go on, the bigger and harder it will be for them to confront and overcome. It is time for all of the governing bodies in football to finally take a stand and do away with racism. No more words, No more slogans…Just Action.