Racism in football, and sport in general, has been a problem across the world for many years, writes Josh Harrison.
Although schemes have been brought in to reduce the abuse suffered by fans, players and managers, the phenomenon of racism in football that has plagued the sport for decades is still evident in 2012.
Several recent incidents have highlighted Uefa’s inability to eradicate the problem. John Terry being found guilty by the FA has shamed himself, his team, and his country, although of course he was cleared in court, while the recent scenes in Serbia, where England’s under-21s were targeted, were an absolute disgrace.
Terry’s reputation has been tarnished beyond repair, I feel, by many events during his career, confirming his status as one of the most disliked men in football. Hopefully the game can move on from the Terry-Anton Ferdinand saga.
Meanwhile, the England under-21 side travelled to Serbia for a Euro 2013 qualifier knowing a win would guarantee a place in next year’s competition.
It should have been a night to celebrate our next generation’s skill and determination, but the actions of many that night have assured it will only be remembered as the game which highlights the sinister shadow caused by the all-too-often-seen treatment coloured players get in parts of Eastern Europe.
Connor Wickham scored the deciding goal in the last minute but before this the Serbians were guilty of throwing fireworks, seats, lighters and coins at our players, and even worse followed as players were subjected to disgraceful monkey chants.
All hell broke loose as Serbian coaches, staff and players ran towards England players like deranged lunatics and sparked a brawl you might associate with a drunken fight on a high street on a Saturday night.
Yet until UEFA actually act, these monstrous events will continue.
It is upsetting to know that racism is still seen so prominently in some areas of the world, and even in our own country, but we must hold out hope that if the authorities realise major action must be taken to stop it, the issue can be eradicated.
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