Friday, April 19, 2013

10 Matches is not enough

UEFA finally clamp down on racism by proposing 10-match ban for guilty players
UEFA have finally woken up to the ‘scourge’ of racism and will introduce 10-game bans and stadium closures from next season.

Stung by widespread condemnation of a perceived kid glove approach, UEFA bosses have drawn up a range of new measures for European matches and are even urging member associations to adopt them.

General secretary Gianni Infantino revealed that discussions had already taken place with member associations and that all countries, including England, had indicated a willingness to adopt the same sanctions at domestic level next season. ...

See the whole story here, courtesy of Mail Online.

Kicking Back Comments: IMHO something is better than nothing, but this is closer to nothing than something. Ten match bans for a player don't even scratch the surface for this behavior.

Playing behind closed doors is better, but still does not cut to the heart of the matter, after all Suarez and Terry are players, and are guilty of the conduct, other than depriving a club of some revenue, how does that prevent further such abuse? Clubs will still go after the (3) points, and play their best like Suarez and Terry. Not seeing that one personally.

How about this ... if a player is guilty of such abuses, ban them for the remainder of the season. Period.

If fans are to blame, then I agree with the playing of matches with out fans.

But of course, much of this is going to go back to the referee. From the article:

"Games could also be abandoned if they are marred by racism.

‘It will be up to the referees, but they will be empowered to interrupt games and even abandon them if they become aware or are made aware of racism during games,’ said Infantino. ‘In the first instance, they will request a loud speaker announcement, warning of the consequences. If it happens again, the players will be taken off and another announcement will follow, warning that the game may be abandoned. If there is a third instance, the game will be abandoned and points may be deducted."

There are a couple of issues with this as you can imagine.

Already we are employed as drama judges for flipping and flopping that is occurring all around the pitch. Now we are going to have to become multi-linguists and cultural police to determine what is racism, and what is harmless banter.

Now if I am a coach or a players agent, I am going to immediately ask for evidence, actual evidence, not a statement from a referee or an opposing player why a player is going to sit for 10, 20, 30 matches, or shutter a stadium. 

It is a reasonable question, and one that UEFA has to thing about carefully, as to be draconian, and I think they should, can also lead to abuses on their own, or in a less sinister case, incorrect interpretations.

Referees soon will be required to carry recording devices on their person and no doubt be required to turn in that recording at the end of a match as evidence of any wrongdoing.

Also, and I have said this before, racism in the near future will likely be its own send off offense as "foul and abusive language" may not be specific enough.

While I loath tinkering with the LOTG, this small addition may be very worth while to set it aside as particularly egregious and place it in a sui generis category for especially harsh punishments. 

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