On Thursday UEFA fined Lazio €40,000 (£32,500) following racist chanting, specifically monkey chants by their fans aimed at Defoe and other black players, during a Europa League game at Tottenham Hotspur last month.
A fine of €40,000 is a mere drop in the ocean to the Italian giants and is zero deterrent to the small section of fans that made the disgusting noises at White Hart Lane back in September.
When you compare that fine to the recent UEFA disciplinary sanction for racist behaviour of £16,700 to Porto for their fans’ racist abuse during Europa League match against Manchester City it’s an increase but is still a paltry sum.
When you then compare that to the £80,000 fined Denmark striker Nicklas Bendtner received for revealing a sponsor’s logo on his underpants during Euro 2012 it shows UEFA up for the moronic dinosaurs they really are.
In a week where UEFA charged the Serbian FA (FSS) with alleged racist chanting after the embarrassing and disgraceful incidents at the end of England U21’s 1-0 win over the Serbian U21 side and both the FSS and the FA with failing to control their players, you have to wonder what weak punishment UEFA will dish out.
If UEFA want to be taken seriously as a governing body the need to man up when the meet on Nov 22nd for the next ordinary hearing of the Uefa Control and Disciplinary Body on 22 November, fierce action needs to take place to stamp out what seems an increasing problem again in our beautiful game.
UEFA should fine both the FSS and FA for failing to control their players but the Serbians should receive much harsher punishment for the racist behaviour.
The following should be issued to the FSS and act as a deterrent to other moronic fans:
– Qualification for both U21 and full national team removed for the next 2 major tournaments.
– 2 year ban on all home games, all games to be played behind closed doors with no fans.
– All players involved in the fighting should receive 5 game bans.
– All staff involved in fighting should have their coaching badges revoked.
Some have said that the countries in Eastern Europe are the biggest culprits of racist abuse and chanting at games and Serbian fans have done nothing to change this stereotype but you have to look at Porto and Lazio as huge clubs both in Europe and domestically that have been fined recently.
Going forward UEFA should stop issuing fines and start removing clubs from European competitions and deducting points in their domestic leagues to act as a real deterrent, a few thousand euros is not a deterrent to fans, affecting their domestic league position or having them thrown out of and banned from the following seasons European competition is, especially if they are a Champions League club.
UEFA embarrassingly have their UEFA and FARE’s anti-racism week next week, unfortunately this looks more like a PR exercise rather than something being taken seriously.
UEFA need to act fast and hard to restore order and to be taken seriously……..