You would think there would be an obvious answer to the above question but when we look at past events and look at the current state of affairs it paints an ugly picture in truth. The recent racist behavior seems to be increasing rather than decreasing and to me it seems the football federations involved as well as UEFA and FIFA don’t have a solution as yet to this problem that just won’t go away. 

The latest player to suffer racial abuse was Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku. His team won a penalty and while he was standing waiting to take the spot kick you can clearly hear monkey like noises being chanted by the crowd and once he scored the penalty the chanting only got louder and clearer. Lukaku was quite visibly upset and his team mates had to keep him from reacting to the fans chants. 

The team in question once again was Cagliari; last season I wrote a piece on the racial abuse suffered by Moise Kean from Cagliari fans. The question has to be asked what is being done to stop this abuse because whatever the powers that be are doing, it’s not working! Fans of Cagliari feel they can say what they want and nothing will happen to them and it looks like they are right.

 In my earlier article I said that the Italian football federation needed to come down hard on this issue. Also in that article I outlined a strategy whereby if found guilty of this kind of abuse the club in question would have a hefty fine imposed on them including a suspended sentence for the next season or two depending on the situation. By virtue of that system Cagliari would have been found guilty for a second time now and would have to play 5 games without fans in the stadium and if they were found guilty again the number of games would increase the next time to 10 and keep increasing until these fans realize that they need to toe the line and racist behavior will not be tolerated or the loyal non racist fans would call out those “bad seeds” and report them so that they will be banned from attending football matches.

I believe this is the only way to stamp this out of the game at the stadiums. If you take away the fans the clubs will be affected both financially and also on the field. Playing with no atmosphere is tough as the crowd often lifts the players to play better. Rival teams and fans will also feel the affects as they too will have to play in an empty stadium and the fans that travel or have season tickets will not be allowed to support their team because of the behavior of a few idiots. It’s a bold strategy but I think we need to be bold in our pursuit of eradicating racism from football.

Twitter Responds:

If you read my story on the racist abuse suffered by Paul Pogba and other footballers suffered on the social media platform, Twitter, in that article I highlighted the fact that Twitter would meet with football officials and speak about the way forward in stopping this from happening and also identifying those responsible. 

Twitter has now released a statement on how they plan on combating this issue going forward. They said,” in the past two weeks, we have taken action on more than 700 examples of abuse and hateful conduct related to UK football. This vile content has no place on our service. We will continue to take swift action on the minority that tries to undermine the conversation for the majority.

“In that same time, we have met with the PFA, Kickitout and directly affected football clubs and agreed a number of proactive measures to tackle this issue collectively.

“Working with the PFA, we will participate in their player training program and will be joining a series of educational sessions with its membership to support the PFA’s ambition to tackle this issue.

“Working with Kickitout, we will continue our working relationship with UK policing to further brief them and provide training on our policies, procedures and dedicated 24/7 reporting channels for law enforcement. 

“To be clear; this behavior does not reflect the vast majority of fans who use Twitter to participate in vibrant conversations around football in the UK. We have spent years forging strong partnerships with clubs, organizations and supporters and deeply value the relationships.

“We want to play our part in curbing this unacceptable behavior- both online and offline- and will continue engaging with partners and clubs, protecting the conversation from abuse, and taking rapid action on accounts that break our rules.”

I am glad Twitter has stepped up their efforts and while it is a monumental task because Twitter accounts can be largely anonymous, it is a step in the right direction. By continuing to shut these accounts down, eventually these people will get the message that their racist beliefs are not welcome on Twitter and have no place in society. 

The only way we can eradicate racism from football and from society as a whole is to educate the youth of the world and to also be an example for them to follow. Every single person has a responsibility, one; to call out these racist fans or people and report them to the authorities  and two; to educate as many young people as they possibly can. A racist mentality can be unlearnt and needs to be unlearnt as quickly as possible and we can all do our bit. Don’t leave it to the teacher and organizations; be the change you want to see in the world and the world will change. It won’t happen overnight but eventually if we all set an example and help to educate we can win the fight against racism not only in football but as an ideology altogether.