Thursday, 18 October 2012

Kick them out

If past experience is anything to go by, Serbia will get away with a small fine after England Under 21 players were racially abused and then attacked on the pitch.

Fine words about respect and tolerance will count for very little when it comes to taking action against serial offenders like Serbia. The money-driven and deeply corrupt international football authorities have demonstrated just how shallow their commitment to equality and tackling bigotry is by awarding this summer's European Championship to Poland and Ukraine, turning a blind eye to the massed ranks of sieg-heiling neo-Nazis on the terraces, and the 2022 World Cup to Qatar where it's illegal to be gay.

The answer is really very simple: to belong to FIFA, a country should be required to show that it allows everyone - men and women, black and white, gay and straight - to play and watch football without being discriminated against or intimidated. If they can't or won't, out they go. It would probably mean excluding large parts of Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa but ultimately football either supports universal human rights and applies them consistently or it doesn't.

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