Wednesday, December 22, 2004


In what must be the most pathetic punishment ever dished out in football, Spain have been fined a whopping £44,750 following the racist chanting directed at England players during the recent Under 21 and full International matches.

There were 48,000 people in the stadium to watch the full match, as well as countless more in attendance at the under 21 game.

Assuming they charged £20 a ticket (which I admit is a rough guess, and probably on the low side) the Spanish FA will have received £960,000 in gate receipts for the match. On that basis, they were fined 4% of their income for the game, or just under £1 per ticket.

That's taught them a lesson then.

Unfortunately it's taught them that turning a blind eye to racism (and the fact that Luis Aragones is still in their employ speaks volumes for their views on the matter) is an approach that FIFA condone, and will do little to punish.

Forgive me if I’m wrong, but weren't England threatened with expulsion from the European Championships following equally unpleasant abuse in the Turkey game at the Stadium of Shite?

The only way we can ever hope to kick racism out of football is if the people running the game set a good example.

The problem is they don't.


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