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Gemmill

Racism alive and kicking in England, say Uefa

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One of UEFA's most senior officials has dismissed British football's success in tackling racism and claimed that racist abuse has declined only because working-class fans have been priced out of attending matches. William Gaillard, Uefa's director of communications, also told Observer Sport that there is as much racism in English football as in the Spanish game, where black players such as Barcelona's Samuel Eto'o are regularly targeted, several Primera Liga clubs have been punished for their fans' behaviour and national team manager Luis Aragones has been fined for calling Thierry Henry a 'black shit'. Gaillard also insisted that the racist taunting of England players, primarily Shaun Wright-Phillips and Ashley Cole, during the team's friendly against Spain in Madrid in November 2004 was down to Anglo-Spanish rivalry dating back to the Spanish Armada, rather than outright prejudice. The Uefa official's extraordinary comments drew condemnation from anti-racist campaigners in Britain, who expressed shock at his 'misguided' and 'misjudged' dismissal of 20 years of action, which has won praise worldwide - including from Uefa and Fifa.

 

Gaillard said: 'In the UK I sometimes get the feeling the issue has been swept under the carpet by raising prices. If you fill the stadiums with middle-class people you have far less problems.'

Comparing football in Spain and England, he added: 'I have been many times in Spain. I would not say that Spain is more racist than England.'

 

The racist insults that black England players endured at the Bernabeu happened because 'there is a history of hostility between these countries, going back to the Armada, so there are a lot of emotions that have little to do with race. I would not take that incident and say it's more difficult to be black in Spain than it is in England. That would be going too far.'

 

Gaillard's remarks are surprising because of Uefa's high profile anti-racist stance and because of his work with organisations such as Kick It Out, British football's pioneering anti-racist group. They came when Observer Sport asked him to clarify Uefa's view of controversial comments made by the head of the Spanish Football Federation at the end of Uefa's conference on racism last week. Angel Maria Villar Llona, a vice-president of Uefa and Fifa, stunned delegates by declaring that too much attention was being given to racism. 'Let's not make a mountain out of a molehill,' he said.

 

Then, in a reference to Aragones's insult to Henry, Llona suggested that racist remarks made by players or managers during games should be kept secret. 'Things that take place on the pitch should be left there,' he said. Anti-racism campaigners were shocked by his intervention. Gaillard, who helped Llona prepare his speech, was reluctant to condemn his Uefa colleague's remarks, though he did confirm that Uefa were frustrated at players who complained of racism to the media and then failed to follow up the complaint through the formal procedure. 'It's something we've complained about at Uefa because we want a written statement to take to court and players very often refuse.'

 

Garth Crooks, the former Tottenham striker who is now a BBC football reporter, said that Gaillard's 'misguided' remarks ignored the reality that many seats at many Premiership clubs, such as Manchester United, are still affordable. 'There is [also] no doubt that in England the fight against racism in football is significantly better than anywhere in Europe,' said Crooks.

 

Measures to banish the racist abuse that used to disfigure British football - such as CCTV cameras, anti-racist advertising in grounds, messages in match programmes and stewards - showed 'there can be no doubt that we've put a tremendous amount of money, effort and resources into educating the public on anti-racism. William's facts are somewhat off line here.'

 

Kick It Out director Piara Powar said that Gaillard was wrong to claim that England was no better than Spain at combating racism and said he was defending Llona because he is a senior figure in football politics.

 

'We do have very high ticket prices. That puts forward this idea that the middle classes aren't racist, but that's just a stereotype that football administrators in particular tap into,' said Powar. 'So I wouldn't accept that. You're as likely to hear racism in hospitality boxes as you are on the terraces.'

 

From the Guardian.

 

Some pretty mental comments there. Nice head-in-the-sand stuff about the racist chanting in Spain as well - oh it's down to history is it? That's alright then.

 

It's not hard to understand why so little is done about racism on the continent when this is the sort of attitude you get from the blokes in charge of the game.

 

Pretty dismissive of the improvements made in this country as well. And a really intelligent working class = racist argument. :doubleact:

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So despite the racist abuse at grounds in this country declining, we have a worse racism problem than Spain where they chant like monkeys at black players?

 

Riiiiight....

89717[/snapback]

 

 

Bit of a generalisation of Spanish fans isn't it?

 

With racialisticismnesstasticity like that going on maybe the bloke has a point.

 

;)

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Look at the stick England got in Madrid and the stick our black players get when they play a team in Eastern Europe and tell me again that we're one of the most racist sets of football fans. Utter shite.

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Shall i just add my usual (and as ever, correct) point that uefa and fifa are run by corrupt, braindead, utterly biassed and spineless twats.

 

And point out that many of them blatantly do have it in for the english and always will have, because parts of that article are just embarassing.

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The guy is obviously an idiot but at the same time I think there is a touch of truth in what he says in regards to England - I honestly think the change in crowd "makeup" has had more to do with the reduction in blatant racism than any FA ran campaigns.

 

A few years ago a far too large proportion of the away following especially were either blatantly racist or too "silent" in their response whereas in recent years a few idiotic comments are more likely to be condemned by fellow fans - in my experience the "more sensible" kind. Not so much to do with class I just think "nicer" people go to football in recent years.

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It's been a few years since I've seen or heard any raciosm at football personally, that includes away matches. However, when I went to Celtic for the 'friendly' a couple of seasons back there was a sizeable bunch who pushed banter too far and were rightfully ejected. Not before calling me and my mate 'mackem scum' for wearing Celtic scarfs we'd swapped with home fans in the pub earlier like (despite the fact we had NUFC shirts on like).

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It's been a few years since I've seen or heard any raciosm at football personally

89850[/snapback]

 

I think theres an undercurrent which refuses to go away - I don't think booing of black players happens anymore but you still get odd remarks.

 

I'm not over-sensitive - I think people can use phrases like "black cunt" in the heat of the moment without being BNP supporters but its easy to tell when its "meant" - I heard a couple like that at West Ham.

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Up there among some of the most shite articles I've ever read.

89854[/snapback]

 

So you do think there is a racism problem in the UK? Because as I understand it the article is having a dig at the UEFA official who is implying that there is a big problem... ;)

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Up there among some of the most shite articles I've ever read.

89854[/snapback]

 

why's that then?

89855[/snapback]

 

Err, because I read it and I think it's shite???

 

Do you think it's a good article? ;)

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Up there among some of the most shite articles I've ever read.

89854[/snapback]

 

So you do think there is a racism problem in the UK? Because as I understand it the article is having a dig at the UEFA official who is implying that there is a big problem... ;)

89856[/snapback]

 

Fúcking hell, is there no end to it on this forum.

 

In point of fact I was agreeing with the comments from Gemmill about the shite in the piece, so if you have a problem and want some kind of expansion about why it's shite, I suggest you ask him or anybody else who thinks it's crap and that Uefa is run by arseholes. Don't ask me 'cos I can't be arsed to get drawn into something else.

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Up there among some of the most shite articles I've ever read.

89854[/snapback]

 

So you do think there is a racism problem in the UK? Because as I understand it the article is having a dig at the UEFA official who is implying that there is a big problem... ;)

89856[/snapback]

 

Fúcking hell, is there no end to it on this forum.

 

In point of fact I was agreeing with the comments from Gemmill about the shite in the piece, so if you have a problem and want some kind of expansion about why it's shite, I suggest you ask him or anybody else who thinks it's crap and that Uefa is run by arseholes. Don't ask me 'cos I can't be arsed to get drawn into something else.

89869[/snapback]

 

Well, by stating it is a "shite article" I understood you meant the article itself is shite. If you only meant it is dealing with a shite subject then fair enough.

 

But I am willing to drag this further into a mulit-page argument if you want. I can even throw in the odd insult, you racist middle-class Englishman. :D

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Up there among some of the most shite articles I've ever read.

89854[/snapback]

 

So you do think there is a racism problem in the UK? Because as I understand it the article is having a dig at the UEFA official who is implying that there is a big problem... ;)

89856[/snapback]

 

Fúcking hell, is there no end to it on this forum.

 

In point of fact I was agreeing with the comments from Gemmill about the shite in the piece, so if you have a problem and want some kind of expansion about why it's shite, I suggest you ask him or anybody else who thinks it's crap and that Uefa is run by arseholes. Don't ask me 'cos I can't be arsed to get drawn into something else.

89869[/snapback]

 

Well, by stating it is a "shite article" I understood you meant the article itself is shite. If you only meant it is dealing with a shite subject then fair enough.

 

But I am willing to drag this further into a mulit-page argument if you want. I can even throw in the odd insult, you racist middle-class Englishman. :D

89884[/snapback]

 

You see, you just haven't been paying attention!!! Its because of the middle classes that racism has decreased, listen to the uefa man, its the nasty working classes who are responsible for racism...so HTL is a racist working class englishman! <_<

Edited by Papa Lazaru

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Well to be fair, I'm sure fascism plays some part in the racist chants you get in Italy and Spain. It's disgusting really. And I worry for Arsenal and Chelsea who will go to Spain, although Real and Barcelona do at least have black players of their own.

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Up there among some of the most shite articles I've ever read.

89854[/snapback]

 

So you do think there is a racism problem in the UK? Because as I understand it the article is having a dig at the UEFA official who is implying that there is a big problem... ;)

89856[/snapback]

 

Fúcking hell, is there no end to it on this forum.

 

In point of fact I was agreeing with the comments from Gemmill about the shite in the piece, so if you have a problem and want some kind of expansion about why it's shite, I suggest you ask him or anybody else who thinks it's crap and that Uefa is run by arseholes. Don't ask me 'cos I can't be arsed to get drawn into something else.

89869[/snapback]

 

Well, by stating it is a "shite article" I understood you meant the article itself is shite. If you only meant it is dealing with a shite subject then fair enough.

 

But I am willing to drag this further into a mulit-page argument if you want. I can even throw in the odd insult, you racist middle-class Englishman. :D

89884[/snapback]

 

That's done it. I'm on my way to your place right now ......... 'middle class' !!!

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If racism is so prevalent in Spain, why would any black players want to go there? Why is there a good chance that Henry may well swop his racially tolerant life in London for Barcelona? If these players are willing to sacrifice any principles they may have and put up with it for the money, why should I give a toss if a spanish fan is racist or not?

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If racism is so prevalent in Spain, why would any black players want to go there? Why is there a good chance that Henry may well swop his racially tolerant life in London for Barcelona? If these players are willing to sacrifice any principles they may have and put up with it for the money, why should I give a toss if a spanish fan is racist or not?

89948[/snapback]

 

Hmmm, interesting.

 

Why is it assumed racism has to be toward black players?

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Far too much emphasis on racism where it doesn't exist IMO, which is how Garth Crooks got his job at the BBC, he didn't get it because he's good, he's crap.

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Far too much emphasis on racism where it doesn't exist IMO, which is how Garth Crooks got his job at the BBC, he didn't get it because he's good, he's crap.

89952[/snapback]

 

 

He got it because he's bent and black, killed two birds with one stone imo. Looks good on the stats having a bent, black bloke working for you, shows you'll give anyone a chance.

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