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Wednesday 29th May 2024

Scottish League Cup Group Stage Draw - 1pm

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Aye, that caught your eye didn't it ;)


If it was about wanking it would hardly be in the Football Chat section.


England fans appear to have managed (allegedly) to take racial abuse to a new level by abusing their own players.




England fans reported for 'racist abuse' of Ferdinand brothers

Football anti-racism network Fare has filed a complaint to Fifa over alleged racist chanting by England fans during the 8-0 win over San Marino.


The chanting was said to be directed towards Rio Ferdinand, who pulled out of the England squad, and his brother Anton Ferdinand.


Fare executive director Piara Power said: "I personally think there was an undercurrent of race there.


"Other people have thought that it has been imbued with racist overtones."


The Football Association said it would not comment while it was awaiting notification from Fare about its report to the sport's world governing body.


Power added: "Although we did not have observers at the match we have pulled together evidence sent to us including media comment and have passed that on to Fifa.


"Whether Fifa think that is strong enough to take action is another question entirely and we accept that it is certainly an unusual report."


The network, Football Against Racism in Europe, is a group of organisations from several European countries which has worked with Fifa and European governing body Uefa to eradicate discrimination in football.


Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand was called up into the England squad for the first time since 2011, but then withdrew stating that he had a "pre-planned programme". It was then reported that the 34-year-old would be travelling to Qatar to work as a television pundit covering the game in San Marino.


England went on to thrash the minnows in Serraville, before travelling to Montenegro, where they were held to a 1-1 draw by the Group H leaders.


England coach Roy Hodgson said after the first qualifier that he had heard the abuse, adding: "I'm not deaf. But I've absolutely no comment to make on it."


Meanwhile, Uefa has again encouraged referees to halt matches if officials are aware of any racism.


The executive committee said it "recommends and fully supports referees to stop matches in cases of racism and calls on national associations and leagues to do the same" in a resolution drawn up by the Professional Football Strategy Council (PFSC) and ratified on Thursday.


Uefa also called "on the players and coaches - namely those with most influence on the perpetrators of racist acts - to speak out, even if this may mean criticising their own fans or players."



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For some years now the FA and England have been able to adopt a position of superiority over many European nations regarding racist behaviour from the terraces.


English football and society have progressed at a faster rate than much of the continent, goes the oft-repeated mantra. This is thanks to sterling work by the game’s authorities, partly due to the need to eradicate a hooligan problem associated with the far right and punished heavily by UEFA in the past.


The relative ease with which English football managed to reduce racism from fans has also partly been facilitated by a wider intolerance towards prejudicial behaviour on the British Isles.


Obviously there are always exceptions, isolated incidents of idiotic behaviour from individuals, and specific groups associated with certain clubs, not to mention the blight of sectarianism which is not exclusively Scotland’s domain.


This theory largely held until the last few years, when a combination of EU migration and broad economic decline prompted a resurgence of the protectionist ‘little Englander’ mentality among some, while the explosion of social media sites and a subsequent trolling culture have given morons platforms to espouse their ill-advised views.


Still, it’s better than in most countries, the mantra continues, with UEFA’s repeatedly paltry punishments undermining their verbal insistence on a ‘zero-tolerance’ policy.


Fans in the UK do not make mass monkey chants at black players, do not use the ‘n’ word (which is not ‘naughty’, alas), and are fully aware that swearing while referring to skin colour is just as bad as a straight racial epithet. Fine.


But if we tell ourselves that certain elements of England’s fanbase are not racist, or at least happy to use race as a vehicle for wider abuse, we are kidding ourselves to embarrassing levels.


Some of the chants aimed at Rio Ferdinand in Montenegro on Tuesday night were understandable and in no way racial – while unsavoury, there is nothing discriminatory about accusing a man of dallying with the beautiful Mrs Palm and her five lovely daughters. Silly, childish, but not discriminatory.


Furthermore, the most vile of the chants – in which Ferdinand was told to go up in smoke with Guy Fawkes and other historical traitors – is, in itself, not racist, unless one decides it is a reference to KKK-style burnings, which is culturally unlikely in the UK.


Nasty, disproportionate (this is a game of football for f-word’s sake) but not racist.


The moment his brother Anton is included, however, everything changes.


Anton Ferdinand has not rejected an England call-up. If he were to surprisingly make the squad – and given the frequency of injuries to England’s large repertoire of central defenders, it is unlikely but not beyond the realms of possibility – then there is little doubt he would hop, skip and jump to training from his current abode in Turkey.


Anton Ferdinand has nothing to do with Manchester United’s continued exercise of dominance over the FA by picking and choosing when their players are available for international selection. His name wasn’t brought up when fans criticised Paul Scholes’s continued absence from the national team, or when Paul Robinson hilariously made himself unavailable for selection.


The only link between Anton and Rio’s decision to stay away from the England camp is entirely down to conjecture, conjecture driven by a belief that racist behaviour should not be punished.


Conjecture that Rio declined Roy Hodgson’s call in revenge for having been dropped while John Terry continued to be selected until he retired following the FA’s decision to formally charge him with racially abusing Anton.


There is no evidence that Rio’s decision to decline Hodgson’s call was anything other than United wanting him to avoid physical contact during a planned period of rest and rehabilitation. Sir Alex Ferguson said as much when expressing his surprise at the initial call-up.


And even if Rio’s absence was intended as a dig at Hodgson for selecting Terry ahead of him (and it may have been), that has nothing to do with Anton, who was the victim of Terry’s ill-chosen words (which were undoubtedly uttered), did not report it to the police in the first place (a member of the public did) and merely fulfilled his obligation as a citizen by answering the CPS’s call to a magistrate hearing (had he lied to protect Terry’s frankly ridiculous excuse, he would have been guilty of perjury).


It is incredible that the poisonous ghost of Terry still hangs heavy over the England camp, even though his exile is self-enforced - more so than Ferdinand, who has not retired - and a result of his refusal to fully accept responsibility for something he admitted doing, whatever his bizarre contextual claims.


People are told they need to take responsibility for their actions, and anyone who criticises Anton Ferdinand on account of something Terry did, or blames Anton for a probably unrelated decision that his brother has made under duress from his club, either has no comprehension of what it takes to be a reasonable human, or believes that calling someone an “f***ing black c***” in a public place of work – in view of children – is acceptable behaviour.


Sing what you like about Rio Ferdinand as he has, whatever your viewpoint or club bias, turned down his country for dubious reasons. But to deduce that Anton Ferdinand is in some way at fault for any of this requires an element of logic – however unsophisticated – that is steeped in a belief that this is all about Terry, and that Terry did nothing wrong.


And that is arguably worse than a gang of semi-literate peasants instinctively imitating their evolutionary ancestors from the terraces, for they know not what they do. Elements of England’s ‘naughty’ support know exactly what they’re doing, and they should be told exactly what they are.


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