I came across an interesting article recently, which focused on fan racism at professional soccer games. FIFA president Sepp Blatter spoke about trying to impose tougher sanctioning against fans that chant racist remarks towards opposing players. Blatter wants to hold teams accountable for the actions of their supporting fans and believes the consequences must be severe in order for racism to be eliminated. There have been several incidents occurring as of late, but I think Manchester city player Yaya Toure’s incident in Russia, caused the FIFA president to erupt in anger recently. CSKA Moscow fans showered Toure with racist chants during a match with Manchester city on October 23rd, and the team even went as far as to deny that any chants were made towards Toure.
Clubs usually receive a fine when their fans chant racist chants towards opposing players, and those fans also get banned from the stadium. Blatter however, wants to take a stricter approach. He wants to either eliminate teams from competition or deduct team points. Although his proposal might seem a little extreme, I can completely understand why he feels this way. It’s unbelievable that racism still exists in professional sports and incidents like these are appalling. It’s even worse when a team denies the chants, and rather puts blame on the player for lying. The team should have apologized to Manchenster city player Yaya Toure, and address the league about how they can eliminate these issues in the future.
I’m not sure if deducting points is the right solution for fan racism at soccer games, but I don’t think a “perfect” solution exists. It’s likely that racism will always occur in pro sport games, the hope however, is that it becomes more intolerable over time. Banning fans from a stadium certainly strikes me as an effective method, and demanding clubs to pay a fine works as well.
I’m happy a person like President Blatter spoke so passionately against racism. The fact that he wants to impose harsher penalties against teams with racist fans, demonstrates his drive to make a change to the game.