The saddening sound of racist chanting at football has once again brought shame on to the beautiful game, as has the response by UEFA to the problem. England player’s, Danny Rose and Raheem Sterling were subjected to ‘monkey chants’ during England’s 5-1 win over Montenegro in their second Euro 2020 qualifying game.
Troy Townsend, a spokesperson for Kick It Out said that UEFA have “failed the game again” and demanded them to put an end to their “gimmicky” sanctions and empty threats by taking the most serious action possible against nations like Montenegro and their football associations.
Townsend said that the fact it had happened again, and more than 10 other times this season across Europe, was outrageous because it has never been properly addressed. He spoke out to say it was a scandal because in this day and age UEFA have had the opportunity to deal with this kind of stuff, to put some strong messages out about racism and they have failed time and time again.
Townsend also said he’d have liked UEFA to have acknowledged what had happened quickly as it is important for everyone to know that the governing body of the competition and European football is actually on it and are prepared to do something. Yet, it is still unclear what response UEFA will actually take.
Townsend wants UEFA to take the strongest possible action and actually come down really hard on the nations who are putting black players under this kind of pressure.
Raheem Sterling, who scored England’s fifth goal in their dominant 5-1 rout in Podgorica, also called for Montenegro to be given a stadium ban as punishment for sections of their supporters behaviour, which was mainly aimed at team-mate Danny Rose.
England manager, Gareth Southgate, who was clearly furious at the final whistle after clearly hearing the chants, said the FA would report the racist abuse to UEFA, but also revealed to reporters that the delegation from European football’s governing body had heard the discriminatory noises.
The lack of clarity on the subject this season and over recent years from UEFA is quite bizarre. They recently begun disciplinary proceedings against Chelsea after a small minority of their travelling fans were heard chanting anti-semitic abuse during a Europa League game against MOL Vidi in Budapest. But UEFA suddenly dropped the case with no explanation two months later.
UEFA are coming under increasing pressure about alienating the football world with its blatant refusal to reveal the reasons behind how it makes its decisions. People want them to come out and stand in front of football and give everyone the reasons and thinking behind why they are making the decisions they are making.
It is the lack of clearness from UEFA’s decisions that is leaving critics, journalists, player’s and supporters completely perplexed.
They are far quicker to hand down sanctions for crowd disturbances, but seem to view racism with far less contempt. They are letting us all down.