Racism in Football, the impossible fight?


Is enough being done by the top powers in football, could football clubs do more to combat the disgusting attitudes of some fans who in 2019 think it is acceptable to display racist behaviour on the stands and should the fans do more to ostracise those with racist views?

Football a sport that is broadcast around the world watched by over 1 billion people during the World Cup final is viewed as a way to bring people together (Independent, 2018). As it is the most popular sport in the world you will get wide range of people from different backgrounds going to see their local sports teams.

There is a tribal feel of fans for football teams with an us VS them mentality which can be acceptable to an extent, with the evolution of social media fans are able to utilise and control pages dedicated to their sports teams, these are made for fans who are passionate about their team which is very positive for the team and the fans, however there is a negative side to this with players such  as Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba, some of the biggest stars in the Premier League being the target of racial abuse on these platforms (BBC, 2019).

Danny Rose, one of England’s internationals feels like he has enough of the sport because of the racist attitudes of some fans, this comes after a Euro 2020 qualifying match in Montenegro where racist chanting was aimed at Rose and other England players. “So that’s where we’re at now in football. Until there’s a harsh punishment, there’s not much else we can expect.” – (Danny Rose,2019)

“This sport presents a mirror to (although arguably a distorted one) society and reflects back deeper processes therein” – (Merkel and Tokarski, 1997) as Merkel wrote there is a mirror to society, with far right groups in Europe on the rise there is no coincidence that reports of racial incidents occurring have increased according to kick it out In their annual report.

The recent game between England and Bulgaria was overshadowed because of racist chants with Raheem Sterling who has long been a target of racist abuse calling out the minority of fans in the stadium, but some have criticised UEFA’s handling of the situation with only a 75,000 Euro fine for the host nation and their next game being played behind closed doors.

“The current sanctions, however ‘tough’ Uefa think they may be, are clearly not working and leave victims with little faith in their ability to prevent abusive behaviour.” – (The Guardian, 2019)

As Kick It Out said  feel like not enough is being done to stamp out racism in the beautiful game and more could be done with harsher punishments on the fans and the club to pressure fans, Clubs and countries to do more to remove it from the game.