Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Football, racism and the law

The idea that football operates outside and above the law has received a boost in the past month.

Liverpool player Luis Suarez has been banned for eight matches for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra. He has not however been charged with racial harassment, unlike England captain John Terry who is to stand trial for allegedly racially abusing QPR centre-half Anton Ferdinand, or indeed the Liverpool fan on the Kop - ironically wearing a Justice for Suarez T-shirt - arrested after a black Oldham player was subjected to racial abuse.

Over at the City of Manchester Stadium, Mario Balotelli is to be banned for four matches after he stamped on the head of Spurs midfielder Scott Parker in last weekend's Premier League match and Carlos Tevez has been fined six weeks wages for his one-man strike in Buenos Aires.

These actions - racial abuse, assault, refusal to carry out your job - would in any other workplace lead to dismissal and/or arrest. It seems though that in the parallel world of football it's OK to deal with them internally unless someone makes a complaint to the police.

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