Roberto Carlos had a banana thrown at him in the match between his team Anzhi Makhachkala and Krylya Sovetov today in the Russian Premier League.

In response Carlos did a dignified response, simply throwing the banana off the pitch and walking off down the tunnel. This despite the fact his team had used all three of the substitutions.

And lets not forget that Russia, in 2018, will be hosting the World Cup, the biggest event in football.

How can this be allowed? Fans who subject a racial abuse are going to be allowed a World Cup? One off incident, maybe I’d accept the fact that there is one idiotic fan in the whole country, who can’t keep his thoughts and views to himself, and ruins the reputation of a normally good, well behaved fan group in the nation. But no, this isn’t even the first time it has happened to Roberto Carlos. Earlier this season Zenit St. Petersburg fans waved a banana in the face of the Brazilian as he walked down the tunnel.

Then there is current West Brom striker Peter Odemwingie, who, after leaving Lokomotiv Moscow, had his former fans unveil a banner saying ‘Thanks West Brom’, with a drawing of a banana in the middle. And he has also spoken out since about the racial abuse he had while in Russia.

The same Russia hosting the 2018 World Cup.

Have Russia so far done anything to solve the problem? No, nothing substantial enough which is having any effect. As far back as 2004 the issue had been noted, especially among Zenit St. Petersburg’s refusal to sign black players, and nothing has been done by the RFU, UEFA or FIFA about any single incident. Nothing. Sure, a little slap on the wrist, if you do it again it’ll be a tiny bit harder. But nothing substantial, nothing at all. Just put a massive blanket over it every single time its seen to the whole world. After all, they are getting the World Cup, how lovely and thoughtful by FIFA. Who cares about the racial abuse that the fans chant, I mean, they are going to have big stadiums and host big matches which people will watch. FIFA have to do something about this, the act is disgraceful and every single time they put a clean sheet on it gets dirty.

And we can’t just blame FIFA for being blinded by money and forgetting all morals in choosing who to host a major international event. That is right UEFA, as you plan on sending 14 teams to Poland and Ukraine, you appear to have massively forgot about the hooliganism in the two countries especially Poland.

Poland has been described as having hooliganism worse than England in the 1980s. Fans have been killed, this years Polish Cup final ended in a fight between Legia Warsaw and the Police. It’s a disgrace, and once again, the major international players that should be looking after and solving these issues aren’t there. They are cowering in the corner frightened to alienate the Polish FA, after all, they did allow them to host Euro 2012.

How can FIFA and UEFA allow two nations, each with different moral issues, the right to host major international events? It doesn’t comprehend or make any sense for me. It allows for weak FA’s who refuse to take action on things the ability to get away with it, hey, the might get a World Cup out of it. England cleaned up its act, now (most of the time) the fans are civilised. Sure there is the odd chant which is suspect, but it doesn’t happen every week and it doesn’t happen all the time. Racial abuse and hooliganism doesn’t happen in rugby, cricket or tennis. Or any other sport for that fact, why should football be the example? Just because the sport reaches a far bigger fan base doesn’t give it any sort of excuse that racial abuse and hooliganism should be allowed. The fans who do this are not real fans, they are cowards. It is more than a sport but it ultimately should be played for the enjoyment of the fans and players. That can not possibly be achieved with the attitudes of the football authorities, especially in Eastern Europe. Both FIFA and UEFA should get out from behind the sofa, and make a stand. Forget all the bribery allegations that FIFA are in at the moments, they should also be taking a serious look at the events in Russia and Poland, and take a serious look in threatening the right to remove the host duties from them if they don’t get up and stop the racism and the hooliganism.


Posted on June 22, 2011, in Football and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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