It’s time for zero tolerance to cut racism out of football once and for all

Shamefully in 2019 players being racially abused is no longer shocking, it’s something we have become used too. Of course, everyone pays lip service to the issue, saying how bad it is, but no one actually wants to take the next step to find a solution.

Which is why I can’t believe those in the UK have the audacity to criticise the Italians for not tackling the issue. This was prompted by Demba Ba suggesting black players should boycott Serie A until they treat these concerns seriously. But are our FA any different?

Okay, we are quicker to condemn it, our media will write that it’s bad’, phone in and social media will debate the subject. Then things go quiet and we go through the same cycle when it happens again.

How many years has it been since we spoke about a rise in racism? If we do nothing, why would we expect it to get better? Do we care (as we claim) to clean up the game, but will we prioritise that over money?

Clubs meet every year to agree on rules, why have they never discussed sanctions such as banning away fans or empty stadiums. In reality the Premiership can’t market itself as the best League in the World if supporters are being forced to stay away. I’m sure businesses don’t want to miss out on every other week a couple of thousands of tourists visiting their city/town? But that’s what zero tolerance is, it’s saying that you find something so unacceptable that nothing is more important than fixing it.

This is why I still think deduction of points is the way forward. Sometimes you have to get into the mind of these cowards. These are people who don’t have lives. Who take sport so ‘seriously’ they think they can act out they want in the confines of a stadium? Who think they can say whatever they want, based on what shirt they wear? You think they care what a Raheem Sterling says or if Prince William has written a statement about it? Let’s have them wake up on a Monday morning, and see that their precious race for a Champions League spot or relegation battle has been impacted by their actions. Hit them where it hurts.

Some will say that it’s too harsh a consequence, that maybe even fans would exploit the rule. I’m not saying don’t investigate each situation or use common sense. At the same time though, thinking like that again makes it about football when the topic is bigger. It’s no different to the hooliganism problems we had in the late eighties. Was it fair that when we were champions, we never got the chance to represent England in Europe? Probably not..

Yet back then, clearly those in power thought enough was enough and were going to act, no matter if it cost clubs money or our English game’s image.

Now it’s time to say enough is enough again. Zero tolerance should mean zero tolerance…

Dan Smith

Updated: September 13, 2019 — 11:30 am


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  1. It’s impossible to eradicate racism from football 100%. As long as their is racism in society there will be racism in football

    We can decrease it with zero tolerance punishments

  2. Racism have no place anywhere. Not here, not there, not anywhere.

    1. But unfortunately it’s everywhere.

  3. Hating the other fans, players and their manager was a way
    the horrors of every day life could be salved temporarily.
    In fact tribalism and its ingrained hatred of others
    was probably the major attraction of football
    to the masses right up until the Premier League era.
    When the blacks started coming into football in the late 1970’s
    it finally gave the despised poor whites a group to look down on.
    Gentrification, higher education levels and high ticket prices
    is altering the fan demographic and generally improving behavior.
    However a packed stadium and the environment it generates
    can still become a law unto itself.
    Racism like any one of the many isms has become far less
    visible at football games in England but traces remain.
    Generally though compared to the 70’s and 80’s English football
    has made giant strides and continues to do so.

    1. Agu- I think you have got a bit ahead of yourself PAL. When you say it gave the white groups the chance to look down on the black players that is a Racist Comment.I have never looked down on any player that isn’t white.Nor will do at any time.Footballer or not.Nor do 99.9999% of the population of this country either.
      I get what you are trying to say but you need to be a lot more careful in what you state.

      1. No he doesn’t. If it doesn’t apply to you, then he’s obviously not talking about you. This is why we struggle to end racism as well. We are still far too uncomfortable talking about it and take every slight as a personal attack. And I know you using 99.99% is a way of saying only a very small group of ppl are racist in UK, but that is so grossly untrue. Very hard to believe when an effective tactic in Brexit vote was using scare tactics to keep Britain “British”, and immigrants out, which it doesn’t take a genius to dissect. (I expect my last statement to get a lot of ppl angry, but hey, this is in line w/ the subject of the article. And you can find the data that shows hate crime increases around the time of the Brexit vote. Sorry if the facts hurt you, but they aren’t a personal attack, they are simply reality and this is how we need to do better).

  4. There is only one way to try and stop ANY form of prejudice in7football and that is the deduction of points – all three in every game that it happens, no matter what the final scoreline might produce.

    It has to be retrospective, simply to ensure that the facts are proven, but within three days of the final whistle the decision should be announced.

    Fining clubs or countries an amount that they probablytake in hot dog and beer sales during a game is ridiculous.

    As for anything else, this is a football site and we should discuss on that factor – allowing admin to censorship.

    1. If admin wants to censor, so be it, but if the topic is about cutting racism out of football once and for all, then it intrinsically linked with the topic of societal racism, and if that makes people uncomfortable, then skip the comment section, or dont have it as a topic at all. 🤷‍♀️

  5. @RSH- you jumped on something that was not there.I merely pointed out that “some” would take offence at that comment and rightly so in my opinion. Yet you decided that I was wrong. Who are you to know what my beliefs are? And what makes you an expert on Brexit? Do you seriously believe that anyone who voted OUT is a racist? Because that is what you are implying with your attitude.Most people I know voted OUT.Are they ALL racist? They voted out for reasons that had nothing to do with Racism PAL.

  6. the solution is a total buycott of all social media platforms by all footballers around the world……. Phil neville.

    1. Bajaja, interesting thought, I wonder if he will boycott his motd slot and forgo his salary…talk is cheap, action is required !!!

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