Thursday, January 04, 2007

Turk in trouble?

It seems as though Emre could well have landed himself in hot water. It's been alleged that the melee which occurred immediately after we were awarded the penalty at Goodison Park on Saturday, Emre racially abused Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard and defender Joleon Lescott.

The precise details are all rather murky, though. Dermot Gallagher's match report made mention of the allegations, though the referee didn't hear them himself. Everton have kept remarkably stumm if something did happen, but the FA have announced an investigation all the same. On Biffa and Niall have pointed out that the FA spokesman has inflamed the situation by essentially asking for complaints from home fans, and that Obafemi Martins was a target for racist abuse by a minority of those same fans.

Emre is innocent until proven guilty, of course - but should the investigation find him guilty, then I hope it's not just a combination of club and FA fines and bans that he faces. He may be having a terrific season, but that shouldn't come into consideration if it comes down to it: he should be sacked, as should any player found guilty of this sort of offence - after all, a fan spouting racist abuse can expect to be ejected and banned. Our national outrage at the behaviour of fans in Spain and Italy would have a very hollow ring about it if the punishment wasn't that severe.

I hope for his sake - and ours - that it was just a heated exchange of insults with no racist overtones, but it doesn't look particularly good.


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