We now have a little more insight, if Shaka Hislop can be trusted as some sort of spokesman, into why several black Premier League players refused to wear Kick It Out shirts on the weekend:
“In my opinion, a fine for a player that has, and continues to earn as much out of the game as John Terry, is meaningless. A four-game suspension is a slap in the face of what has been a unified call for stronger action. A call which the FA themselves echo when the accused are fans of other nations.
“And here lies the FA’s dilemma. A dilemma of their own making. By being as soft as they were on John Terry they have contradicted themselves and ostracised the very people and ideals they intended to support and champion.”
The news comes as the Chelsea captain is set to lead his team in the Champions League, beyond the realm of the Premier League’s four game suspension. Paul Hayward noted the bitter irony:
Suspended at home for racial abuse – Chelsea captain abroad, with an anti-racism armband. Tonight must be the nadir in the John Terry saga.
— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) October 23, 2012
Armbands and t-shirts. Outward gestures masking an ineffective effort on the part of football’s governing authorities to finally take racial abuse with the utmost seriousness. I don’t want to grind down the same arguments over and over, so I’ll try to be brief.
First, this is not the inherent fault of a single organization known as Kick It Out. As has been noted, the group does excellent work particularly at the grassroots level to encourage children of all backgrounds to play and learn football across England. Instead, the problem is that Kick It Out should not be the face of the FA’s, the Premier League’s, or any individual club’s efforts against racism. Kick It Out should offer clubs help with best practices, but any outward gesture, and any effective action, must be taken on by each organization in turn.
Second, the litigious nature of any allegation of racial abuse in the UK unwittingly puts the burden of proof on the FA in determining appropriate disciplinary measure in these cases. Because Terry was acquitted in his criminal trial, the FA was somewhat hampered in their efforts to mete out an effective punishment, tasked as they were with producing a thorough report of the case and its circumstances in order to appear “fair.” This is one of several noxious side effects of the criminalization of speech. This, you’ll note, again has nothing to do with Kick It Out as an organization.
The latest news is Rio Ferdinand is considering forming a breakaway union of black footballers to protect their interests. That we’ve had to come to this is in of itself hard evidence the status quo is no longer acceptable.
Adam Carroll believes he was never given a chance to succeed at Liverpool.
Sir Alex Ferguson and Rio Ferdinand resolve issue over ‘Kick it Out’ snub.
Roberto Di Matteo insists John Terry is still Chelsea’s leader.
Manchester United’s David De Gea looking for a return to La Liga.
Ashley Cole refuses to appeal the FA’s £90,000 fine.
Rio Ferdinand downplays rumors of forming a new black footballers’ union.
“Roberto Di Matteo is perfect” – Juan Mata
West Brom Albion receiving a large amount of applications for its sporting/technical director position.
Reina hoping to return for Liverpool’s match against Everton.
David Silva forced out of Ajax match with a hamstring injury.
Jack Wilshere could be back this weekend against QPR.
Ferguson keen on testing his ‘diamond’ formation against Braga.
Chelsea vs. Shakhtar Donetsk – Match Preview
Manchester United vs. Braga – Match Preview
Demba Ba confirms he won’t boycott ‘Kick it Out’ t-shirt.
Juventus vs. Nordsjaelland – Match Preview
Genoa appoint Gigi Delneri as Luigi De Canio’s replacement.
Allegri names Milan’s squad for tomorrows Champions League match against Malaga.
Adriano Galliani confirms he’s forced Milan’s players into a week-long training retreat.
Real Madrid facing an injury crisis ahead of Borussia Dortmund clash.
Sevilla set to be without German midfielder Piotr Trochowski for eight months.
Barcelona vs. Celtic – Match Preview
“Barcelona and Lionel Messi can eat you alive” – Celtic Manager Neil Lennon
Tito Villanova believes Messi is the favorite to win the Ballon d’OR.
Valencia vs. BATE – Match Preview
Poland international Lukasz Piszczek extends his deal with Borussia Dortmund until 2017.
Daniel van Buyten set to miss Bayern Munich’s match against Lille.
Bayern Munich manager Jupp Heynckes praises his record-breaking squad.
Bayern Munich vs. Lille – Match Preview
Bits and bobs
Mesut Ozil ordered to wear ‘brand-less’ boots for 180 days by Dutch judge.
Shakhtar’s Fernandinho says he’ll go ‘wild’ if Terry is racist around him.
Mario Balotelli, Joe Hart and others go watch Nicki Minaj in Manchester.
Paraguay football brawl…refs issue red cards from dressing room after the fight breaks out.
Thanks to Michael Tomasone for compiling today’s links.