If football didn’t have enough problems already, with an economic crisis that makes clubs have problems to make ends meet, match-fixing scandals popping everywhere around the world and supporters violence in stadiums on the rise, FIFA has also the issue of constant racism going on matches to deal with and has just announced a new anti-racism chief to tackle this matter.
Two months have passed since Kevin Boateng walked off a friendly match of his team, Milan, against local side Pro-Patria after a handful of supporters would chant racism songs and make monkey noises, Joseph Blatter creates a task-force to handle the problem and puts as its head the current president of CONCACAF, Jeffrey Webb.
From the Cayman Islands, where he was born and resides, he guaranteed that FIFA will have “zero tolerance” against racism in football and that tougher actions than current fining system will be taken.
The suspensions of Suarez and John Terry plus the fines applied to their clubs seemed to be quite light in the eyes of the new FIFA executive, mostly because of the amount of money involved in football.
He says and I quote “I really don’t think that financial instruments in today’s world are enough to deal with it.” Between his new ideas for punishing clubs are relegation and even exclusion from major tournaments, and according to him “These are things we will look at and examine.”
This is great news coming from the governing football body, specially since FIFA never really cared about the issue, but now with media pressure, Blatter finally took a stand and actually brings something new to the table in their try to act against racism in football.
Since this problem happens in every corner of the world and in the most varied leagues and divisions, a rule that fits all could be something to look at here if racism is proven on the field. That would have to be a hard one, so the first time it happens, the player involved really gets punished and becomes an example for whoever thinks about something horrendous like this.
When it comes from the stands, racism should be dealt like a police case. Perpetrators should be arrested and sued by the state, clubs, players and the league all together, so it maximizes the penalty applied to such people. In these cases I don’t believe clubs should be punished at all, as in most occasions, we are looking to no more than half-dozen people that create this kind of trouble.
Expectation that this action by FIFA brings a solution to this problem is high and all we can do is hope that racism is banned once and for all from football.