In November 2013 there was anti-Semitic gestures and mocking from West Ham fans toward Tottenham fans during a game at White Hart Lane.
Another incident occurred that was filmed by sky sports showing Millwall fans racially abusing El-Hadji Diouf of Leeds United.
Both Clubs gave assurances that they would act swiftly and impose life bans on fans showing this type of bigoted behaviour.
Unfortunately the FA once they were made aware and following an investigation; no further action would be taken against both Clubs.
They issued a statement that said: “No charges are to be issued to either club in relation to these isolated incidents.”
However they also added: “The FA advises that consideration will be given to taking disciplinary action against both West Ham United and Millwall if further reports of spectator misconduct are received.”
Is this really showing a commitment to tackling this type of behaviour?
The FA must appreciate that many football stadiums are located in highly populated BME communities, which will impact upon the local residents also.
Following the FIFA announcement last week one would have thought that the FA would have at least closed a stand at each ground or even order a game to be played behind closed doors, bearing in mind that these incidences are regularising themselves.
It would appear that Racism is not an important part of the agenda and would beg the point, as to why there are promotional shirts and various campaigns, demonstrates mere window dressing and no real substance towards tackling this issue which is not just with football but also sport and society, in my opinion.
There are independent groups such as Race for Sport that are willing to work with the FA in order to develop solutions to this alarming issue, by way of not only punishment but also dialogue and re-education as appropriate.
I believe this was an opportunity for the FA to make a clear statement by its actions. In this case ‘Do Nothing’.
Birmingham Empowerment Forum