Last Updated 16 Jun 2020

Does FIFA Do Enough To Prevent Racism In Football

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Racism; hatred or intolerance of another race or other races is unfortunately a very frequent occurrence around the world. Starting very early on, the belief that someone’s race is superior and has the right to rule others still takes place even to this day. Football, is a sport which should bring countries and races together to compete against each other. But this is not the case, the degree of Racism in football is simply unacceptable. From League 2 in England, to the FIFA World Cup it takes place on the pitch, in the stands and even on the internet.

Many various organisations have attempted to prevent Racism in Football, including; Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) & Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). But are they doing enough? The most recent incident was on the 24th July 2013 where AC Milan left back Kevin Constant kicked the ball into the crowd and left the pitch after racist abuse was being chanted from the stands of the Sassuolo supporters while he was preparing to take a throw in. Constant's actions emulate those of Boateng’s where a similar scene occurred however the whole team walked off the pitch instead of the one player.

While Boateng had plenty of support, it seemed that AC were much less supportive of Constant's decision to exit the pitch. The club said in a statement: "This was not a decision he should have taken upon himself to make. ” After the situation had been reviewed by the FIGC (Italian Football Federation) Sassoulo were fined 30,000 euros for their fans actions, I fully support the decision to punish the club but aren’t others to blame for Constant’s decision to leave the pitch? Is this really going to stop the Racist remarks? The answer is absolutely not.

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FIGC’s solution did not directly affect the fans and therefore these scenes will undoubtedly keep occurring. Situations like this should be dealt with in the equitable way to abrogate Racism in football and not just result in a careless fine. However this isn’t the worst part of the story. Constant was fined with 3,000 euros for is actions. This is an absolutely appalling decision, and could perhaps encourage supporters to carry on with racist remarks towards the players. Kevin Constant had every right to exit the pitch in the manor he did.

On the other hand, FIFA -along with its employees and the football community- have showed that they’re currently unquestionably attempting to stop Racism in football and inside civilisation in general. FIFA has begun and presented events such as the FIFA Conference on Racism in Football, UN Anti-Racism Conference, and established its very first Anti-Discrimination Day on 7 July 2002. But this isn’t enough, FIFA have thought of many methods, but haven’t executed enough hands on tasks to cause any great effect. For example, the FIFA Disciplinary code was taken into place a few years ago.

The code shows what happens if the FIFA Statues -basic laws for world football- are violated. It applies to everyone involved in the football match being played but is everyone being caught out? Not everyone can be dealt with at one time, especially when multiple people join in Racist chants. Therefore I don’t see the Disciplinary Code as being an effective method to eliminate Racism from Football. UEFA work very closely with FARE (Football Against Racism In Europe) and give them a lot of aid in promotion, finance etc.

I personally feel that have a much more effective method of preventing Racism. I feel this way because annually at 40 UEFA club competition matches, players are accompanied onto the field by children wearing Unite Against Racism T-shirts, while team captains wear matching armbands. I support this form of preventing racism because fans respect their club’s players and if they see the players supporting the fight against racism then they might think twice about shouting abuse at a player with a different colour of skin. This method is also incredibly cheap and extremely effective.

Considering the millions of pounds some of these respected organisations will have, purchasing t-shirts and armbands should not affect them financially in any way. There are multiple Racist incidents in Football and Kevin Constant’s wasn’t the worst. Standard Liege player Onyewu, stated that Anderlecht’s Jelle Van Damme called him a “dirty ape” under his breath during the first leg of a play off match. Onyewu alerted the white referee but no action was taken and he was ignored. Although this isn’t the worst of what happened on that match day.

When Onyewu arrived at the stadium he was punched and shouted at by the opposition fans. These fans were unpunished and allowed to enter the stadium with nothing said. This is just one of many racist incidents in football which haven’t been dealt with correctly, the referee blatantly showed he was simply uninterested in Onyewu’s complaint. I believe that the referee should receive a long match ban and fine for his actions as he should have been one of the first to report the incident. As for the fans who physically attacked Onyewu, they deserved a permanent ban from going to any future matches.

I personally feel that FIFA, FIGC, UEFA and all other major Football related organisations should work together to fight racism and not just focus on their own ways of preventing it. Every match should be promoting the act against racism, tickets, programmes and all forms of merchandise should have ‘Say No To Racism printed on them. Furthermore the punishments for violating the FIFA Disciplinary code should be stricter, fans should have a very long –or possibly life- ban from going to matches if caught and players, managers, match officials should be treated in the same manor along with a minimum fine of 40,000 pounds.

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