Racism once again spotlighted in football

By Darsha Indrajith
Football, and the English Premier League in particular, has always been marred by racism. The FA has launched numerous anti-racism campaigns to prevent both fans and players from turning “the beautiful game” into a display of bigotry and prejudice. However, these clearly haven’t worked. Following racist comments by Luis Suarez and John Terry, racism has become the biggest issue in football.
In October last year, Luis Suarez called Patrice Evra a “n***o”. The FA’s reaction to the incident was unprecedented. It took strong measures against Suarez by handing him an eight-match ban and a substantial fine.
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish and his players supported Suarez believing that he did not engage in racist behaviour. “It is our strongly held conviction that the Football Association and the panel it selected constructed a highly subjective case against Luis Suarez based on an accusation that was ultimately unsubstantiated,” the club said in a statement following the announcement of Suarez’s ban. The matter however, was not put to rest. When the two great rivals clashed again in February, Suarez refused to shake Evra’s hand before the game. Suarez immediately became an even bigger villain in the eyes of the media, who also criticized Dalglish for claiming that he did not see the incident.
“We are extremely disappointed Luis Suarez did not shake hands with Patrice Evra before yesterday’s game. The player had told us beforehand that he would, but then chose not to do so,” said Ian Ayre, the Liverpool managing director. Both Suarez and Dalglish were forced to apologise.This incident has set the benchmark for the future and, hopefully, both players and supporters will learn from it.

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