You had one job.
Uefa had the simplest decision to make. After the Luis Suarez and John Terry affairs the FA made their point loud and clear. We dealt with racism (albeit questionably) and you as the European governing body should too.
But UEFA failed. Not just a little. Spectacularly.
Nicklas Bendtner was fined £80k for wearing sponsored underwear at the latest Euro Championships. Surely the fine would be higher than that? Serbia had already banned two coaches and two players. Stiffer sanctions must be to follow! We all hold with bated breath to see if UEFA would have the spine to suspend Serbia and their racist fans from the game for a period of time.
Instead, somewhere, in some dark room, somebody decided that Tom Ince and Steven Caulker (who would have been affected by the racism in Serbia) should be banned for one and two games respectively. They also think that £65k is a suitable amount to fine the nation who has been warned before about their fans racism.
So as Rio Ferdinand tweeted, “Wearing sponsored underwear and fighting is worse than racism”.
Oh and Serbia U21’s have to play their next game behind closed doors.
That’s absolutely _______ disgraceful. (Insert profanity or otherwise desired adjective)
How in this day and age is that deemed a suitable punishment for what happened at the end of that game?
I put it to you, that had it been the other way around, we would be seeing far more different consequences. It would be a two-year suspension for the whole of English football. Our club teams would be banned from Europe for several years as well. The decision screams out a lack of passion from the higher echleons to actually stamp racism out of the game.
I know the FA have said that they will appeal the decisions to ban Ince and Caulker. Rightly too, they shouldn’t even be banned. But doesn’t their suspension suggest a slight inclination of racism from inside UEFA? Why ban those two players? Raheem Sterling was staunchly defending his team mates more than the other two. Why not slap a suspension on him?
UEFA have made several clear errors here. Even as an avid Arsenal fan, I was horrified that Lazio were fined a paltry £32,500 for monkey chants at Tottenham. No Gareth Bale jokes here either. Lazio are allowed to continue in the Europa League as well! Why not kick them out? Make a bloody stance UEFA and get some balls. If UEFA are that bothered by racism and chanting, how comes they didn’t fine Tottenham for ‘anti-semtic chanting’ when they cry out ‘Yid army’ which for the record, I have no issues with as it has been a part of the clubs fabric and history for as long as I can remember. Not offensive, merely a fans way of bonding on the terraces.
I know many more will write about this subject. However, racism has NO place in football. UEFA missed a perfect opportunity to deal with this.
The message is quite clear.
Carry on with the abuse… The impact isn’t that bad after all
Follow me on twitter @savvygooner and @gunnersinarms