08 June 2012

Racism at the Euros

If you were following any of the buildup to the Euros then you are already aware of the many fears that racism will rear it's ugly head at this year's tournament.
There was a "sensationalist" documentary shown in the UK that focus on the racism and antisemitism alive in the stadiums of Poland and the Ukraine (unlike the crowds in England which are oh-so-perfect?) and there was news from the Holland camp this past Thursday that the team was subjected to disgusting chants during their public training. Uefa has already denied that there is any problem and the referees have vowed to book any players walking off the pitch due to racist chants. Several players have expressed their concerns and Mario Balotelli, in particular, has been very vocal on what his response will be if faced with racist chants or actions during a game.
It is a difficult position for Uefa who don't want the threat of racism to overshadow the tournament as a whole but they need to stand firm. This is their chance to show the world that the football community wants to take a strong stance against racism and I feel they already missed their first opportunity to show that commitment by ignoring Holland's concerns. It's a shame that they are already too frightened by the threat of controversy to focus on the real threat at hand.

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