It seems to me that UEFA, the leading governing body for all European football has no care towards the most pressing issue in the sport today. Racism has been creeping back into football now for a number of years all across Europe, but yet UEFA seem undeterred to want to do anything logical about it. They seem to think by throwing a fine at the problem is the solution, seemingly failing to understand or even realise that football today is run by billionaires and a fine in this climate is nothing more than a ‘spit in the ocean’. In my opinion UEFA need to get real and really tackle this issue head on, or else this cancer we have growing will eventually kill ‘the beautiful game’.
Serbia under 21’s vs England under 21’s on Tuesday night was just another story in a long line of racist related events in recent times, with Serbia yet again at the forefront. It was in 2007 where England under 21’s came up against racist taunts especially at players such as Nedum Onuoha, who went on to describe his abuse as ‘one of the toughest 90 minutes he’s ever experienced’. The Serbian federation were only fined £16,500 for their role in the chanting and abusive behaviour back then, which I find laughable, now I fear that this time around the worst that will happen is UEFA will implement ANOTHER fine, albeit a heavier one, but to them that is where the case will rest, what I suggest is as follows –
1. Ban Serbia from all European and World based competitions until they learn their lesson.
2. Avoid playing any international matches in Serbia.
3. Sanction the heaviest fine they can on the Serbian FA for not controlling their crowds.
Ideas like the ones I just mentioned would not only be a start with the means to go on, but it would make other nations around Europe take notice for future reference that this kind of behaviour is not acceptable and can not under any circumstances carry on the way it has been.
I suppose the only question you have to ask the governing bodies is ‘Do you have the guts?’. It has become apparent that the answer to that question right now is NO, which is a crying shame, because if this issue continues to be over looked then what is the point of having a governing body?
John Terry has been fined and was given a minimal ban of 4 matches by an independent panel of the English FA, I’m not so convinced that he will learn his lesson from that and I’m not sold on his pathetic attempt of an apology either, to me he’s only doing it because he feels he has too in regards to his credibility and maybe because he was told too by his club, yet no apology has been offered to Anton Ferdinand personally, the man he racially abused. It’s an absolute joke.7
Luis Suarez was banned for 9 matches and got a heavy fine for racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra by the FA, though there was no concrete evidence of Suarez actually calling Evra anything, it was more of an ‘Evra vs Suarez word against word’ – which lead to Suarez being made an example out of, which I (if Suarez did racially abuse Evra) would condone because it is not right and it never will be tolerated in my eyes and that’s the stance that UEFA, the FA and every other governing bodies need to undertake and implement sooner rather than later.
When Will England Learn?
You can cover it up in as many versions as you like, supporters and pundits alike need to understand very quickly that the ENGLAND national team are no longer competing in the top tier of European or World football. I do however agree that the Premier League is the best league in the world as far as excitement goes, but I draw the line at saying that England are still a major force in International football. The fact is the Premier League right now is the best league in the world because of the foreign talents that have come and plied their trades here, you can say that because of this the result has been the younger English talents haven’t had the chance to showcase what they’re made of, which in some aspects is true.
But take into consideration that for the best part of a decade now, maybe longer, the three lions haven’t really lived up to their billing, tournament in tournament out huge expectancy is placed on their shoulders to deliver – with the same predictable outcome. There is no flair, no real quality and no real ideas of how to unlock the best defences in the world.
The problem with England is (and I have been saying this for years) is there are too many individuals, that doesn’t make a team, it never has. Players over the years have all been of the highest quality, you name them, Seaman, Hart, Ferdinand, Terry, A Cole, Rooney, Linekar, Gascoigne, Adams, Beckham, Scholes, Gerrard, Lampard, Shearer, Owen, there are so many of the ‘golden’ era or generation that I have missed that just couldn’t seem to get the job and that’s not down to coincidence, sometimes you have to admit that you’re just not good enough anymore.
So many managers that have come to the A fore to manage England have had the same philosophy, never kept the same shape but effectively have had the same idea of getting the ball down to play football, of course it’s the right way but there are teams who clearly do it better – BECAUSE technically they are better equipped, take Spain for example, freedom to roam, passing is crisp, flow is quick, it’s the movement, the pattern and philosophy they play that makes them so successful, they are the blueprint that others including England should follow.
I credit Roy Hodgson for what he is trying to do, but he just doesn’t have the players at his disposal to implement the way he wants the team to play and I feel even with the imminent comeback of Jack Wilshere, England are still some way off.