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Racism in Football

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Tom Fowler Racism in Football General Studies Coursework Introduction Whilst racist activity both in and around football grounds has been a feature of the 1970s and 1980s, racism within professional football in Britain has, historically, been tied to the nature of British society, in particular its colonialist and racist past. Cohen (1988) has suggested that by virtue of its imperialist phase, racism is constitutive of what has become a "British way of life". This fact has also been reflected in English football, which was historically disinclined to co-operate, or have routinised contact with so-called 'lesser' footballing nations. FIFA, for example, was set up without English support in 1904, and the England team did not take part in the World Cup Finals until 1950, at which point they were summarily humiliated (0-1) by the unconsidered USA. Later in the decade (1950s) the Football League unsuccessfully opposed the involvement of English clubs in European club competitions. Elements of the 'glorious insularity' of British football's past is today echoed in the patrician racism revealed in comments made by football managers and senior football officials regarding black players; 'They' have an innate lack of discipline and consistency; a chip on their shoulder; a dislike of the cold etc. ...read more.


Racism in football is not confined to the British game. Abuse of black and ethnic minority players has disfigured football in many European countries, including the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Germany, Italy, and France, as well as many eastern European nations. In 1991 Fritz Korbach, manager of Heerenveen, was censured by the Dutch footballing authorities for racially abusing his country's black international star, Brian Roy. During Euro 96, Dutch midfielder Edgar Davids was sent home after complaining that black players were excluded from tactical meetings and had no input into the team, these privileges only being extended to white members of the team. Racist chanting and banana throwing greet blacks in Belgian football on a regular basis. Aston Villa's Dalian Atkinson returned from Spain after one season with Real Sociedad, unhappy with the reception he received, and identifying racial abuse as a major factor in his rapid departure from the Spanish Club. Paul Ince also complained about open abuse during his spell with Inter Milan in Italy, and British-based players have been abused in Italy and in parts of Eastern Europe on a regular basis in club competitions. A new European anti-racism in football network FARE has recently been established. ...read more.


Some women find it amusing but some players will find it offensive. I have never visited a woman's match but I have heard that people do shout abuse sometimes, at the women. Is this how we want our children to treat women, they are just as equal as us so we should give them the respect they deserve. The 2000s present, potentially at least, the opportunity for a new era within British football. The restructuring of the game, a massive ground improvement programme, a revitalised commercial interest in the game, rising attendance and the general improvement in fan behaviour has placed football firmly back in its place as a central part of the cultural fabric of the nation. Within the national sport black and Asian participation is not only to be welcomed; it is absolutely necessary for the future of the national game. This is not to mention the wider social benefits of a sport, which accommodates black and Asian spectators and players. The way forward is succinctly outlined by the CRE/PFA campaign, which states that: " If football is to be played and enjoyed equally by everyone, whatever the colour of their skin, and wherever they come from, it is up to us all, each and every one of us, to refuse to tolerate racist attitudes, and to demand nothing less than the highest standards in every area of the game". ...read more.

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