A derby, a London derby. Tottenham took on Chelsea with an eye on catching them in the race for a top-four spot in the English Premier League. The game was built up as a sort of master versus apprentice, with Jose Mourinho taking on a former player in Frank Lampard. It was Frank who had the last laugh as his team scored twice from the boot of Brazilian winger Willian before half time.
Spurs didn’t fare much better in the second half as Son Heung-min was sent off after the VAR (video assistant referee) spotted violent conduct from the South Korean. This was only the start of the controversy, unfortunately. Moments after Son’s red card, Antonio Rüdiger who was the player on the end of Son’s lashed out boot was seen on TV pointing to a section of the crowd that was making monkey-like gestures. I must commend referee Anthony Taylor who stopped the game to talk to the 4th official and both managers to make them aware of the situation. The announcer at the Tottenham Stadium then made a statement saying discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated and the game was being interrupted and to please stop. This is the first time I’ve seen a game being stopped for this and to be honest I hope it isn’t the last. Recently an English international was stopped for discrimination as well as a Serie A game in Italy. In both cases, I felt that the punishment didn’t fit the crime.
In the case of the fan at the Tottenham Stadium, he has subsequently been found and slapped with a life ban from the Tottenham Stadium and I hope all grounds around the world will have his name on record. I hope Rüdiger dares to lay criminal charges against the fan that was given a life ban so that he can be aware of the full ramifications of his actions. I hope that he is punished to the full extent of the law and never seen at a football ground ever again. As far as I’m concerned, one less idiot will be welcomed by everyone.
I’m glad that the English FA (football association) seems to be on the ball when it comes to racism and discrimination in football. They have a clear message of no tolerance and that is the way it should be. These people need to be singled out and banned for life and fined and taken to court to be prosecuted for their crimes. Enough is enough and football needs to be tough on racism and discrimination. You don’t want players to start walking off the pitch or not wanting to go to a certain ground so this zero-tolerance approach from the FA is most welcomed.