Our favourite Frenchman, Michel Platini announced that any player who opts to walk away from the pitch during Euro 2012 in response to racist chants or behaviour from the crowd would be booked.
This was backed up by his insistence that the player wasn’t in charge of referreing a game and the ref was now able to end a game if racist abuse was in evidence.
This, in Platini’s mind is the best way for football to combat racism and protect the game.
Is this fair on the players though?
As an example, we’ve seen what some nations constitute as normal everyday behaviour thanks to the Suarez affair. In Uruguay it’s OK to use the phrase ‘negro’ when talking to a black person whilst in the UK we were up in arms about its use and the conations.
Did anyone else see how the media in mainland Europe reacted? To many it wasn’t really racist at all and the whole affair was a storm in a teacup.
This brings me to how a referee from one nation will react to what a player of another nation may deem abuse of a racist nature.
Is the definition of racism based on the officials understanding only? Are there universal UEFA guidelines that the refs have to take into account?
If a player believes he’s the recipient of racist abuse then he’ll clearly inform the ref but if the ref just brushes it off and says to continue with play, I’d deem the player is well within their rights to leave the field of play. No-one should be forced to continue play whilst abuse and hatred is showered on them from sections of the crowd.
If the definition of racism is at the discretion of the ref, has UEFA got this decision right or is it once again a knee jerk reaction from the official body to placate the masses and cover the asses of viagra price UEFA who were aware of the issues in the host nations.
Other comments from forum users here: http://www.toonforum.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2562