UEFA opening flood gates?

UEFA, may just have opened a huge can of worms in accepting an anonymous complaint against Rangers.

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  • Keith M

    A crackpot’s charter if ever I heard of it. We’ll have every malcontent shouting “I’m offended” before too long. The football terraces are not a vicrage tea party and if people are easily offended then go elsewhere. (And I say this having been the football matches in about 10 countries).

  • ingram

    Keith M,

    PC gone mad.

  • Snuff

    Exactly if you cant do bit of racist/ sectarian singing on the terraces then where can you do it?
    Offensive chanting at football matches ruins the game and leaves it the preserve of the ignorant and bigoted.

    I went to see two amateur teams play recently in the junior cup. One side brought around 200 supporters and sang offensive songs the whole match. Alluding to activites with sheep etc.
    The other side werent much better. One supporter standing next to me had nothing better to add except “get knocked into them boys” “referee your a wanker” and my favourite “ref if you put your arm up again then i’m gonna cut it off you fucking traffic warden”

    Strangely the game itself was played in good spirit between the players. It will be a long time before I go back to a local socer match. Other sports dont seem to attract the same level of vehemence between supporters. For example rugby and gaelic can often have violence on the field however there is NEVER problems between supporters.

    Its not acceptable to air sectarian songs in school/work etc so why should we tolerate it on the terraces. Or more importantly why should soccer tolerate it in its midst. As for making anonymous complaints, what is the problem? These teams and their supporters need to learn that they cant get away with it.

  • páid

    Hello! Hello! This is a monstrous ruling. I have personally heard rangers fans singing non-sectarian songs. And I saw the dopey-looking, yellow-bellied villareal fans on tv last night at highbury. Wouldn’t know a sectarian wegie insult if it came up and insulted them.

  • TAFKABO

    So, if we see an individiual engaging in Racist or Sectarian behaviour we should tackle the problem, but if it occurs on a massive scale we should let it go?

    How does that work?

  • Realist

    Snuff,

    Did I not hear one of the county managers on TV recently giving off about the unacceptable level of abuse coming from certain crowds at GAA matches?

    If you go to watch a working mans sport, you can expect some foul language, banter and abuse.

    Sectarian and racist abuse crosses over the line of acceptability in my view tho.

    The UEFA decision is baffling and does not help the cause of those working so hard to eradicate sectarianism and racism from local football.

  • UEFA are…
    1. taking a hard line on things. By their ruling they show Scotland to be a sectarian society and something should be done at a higher / more broad level and not just on the terraces. Why should it be up to a Euro football body to sort out the hidden scourge when it should be tackled by society (politicos, churches, press, etc) as a whole.
    2. or Uefa is taking a soft line. Waiting for there to be a similar and offsetting issue with Celtic as, to some, the two teams are intrinsically linked.
    3. lastly, UEFA are a bunch of twits and have just proven themselves to be so.

  • “2. or Uefa is taking a soft line. Waiting for there to be a similar and offsetting issue with Celtic as, to some, the two teams are intrinsically linked.”

    There’s an element of truth there Niall. After the “anonymous” parties complained about the Rangers fans behaviour, lo and behold some other “anonymous” parties mooted the idea of a counter-petition listing Celtic fans’ “crimes” over the years. I don’t know if it actually got sent to UEFA, but I’m sure they were made aware of its existance.

    I’ve a feeling that UEFA has on this basis decided to let off Rangers (wrongly in my view).

    Like Snuff, I’ve no idea what the problem is with accepting evidence from anonymous sources. After all, it’s UEFA who will independently investigate the matter themselves and who will pass judgement in the end.

  • JK

    I thought UEFA found Rangers not guilty of sectarian singing because they felt sectarian singing had been tolerated in Scotland (correct) therefore they felt that they could not intervene (very bizarre logic, replace sectarian with racist to see how absurd their stance is).

    No mention of finding Rangers not guilty because of the complaint originated from an anonymous source. Are the rules being changed now to remove a possible guilty verdict?

    I fully expect to see Rangers fans inundating UEFA with complaints of Celtic fans singing ‘The Fields of Athenry’ next season

  • JK on Apr 20, 2006 @ 07:20 PM “…No mention of finding Rangers not guilty because of the complaint originated from an anonymous source….” this theory is mentioned in the press as an excuse / possible reason for not convicting the club to the full extent of the blah blah. When I see the press arriving at possible reasons while not divulging their sources and these possible reasons seem shambolic, to say the least, I despair at the efforts of UEFA to address racist / sectarian behaviour

    Paranoid, right !?!?

  • wes

    The recent UEFA saga seems to have prompted the SPL to start taking a tougher line with those singing sectarian songs.

    Although it goes on to say that no action will be taken???

    From today’s Scotsman

    ‘Rangers have been cited for two instances of sectarian singing during Saturday’s Bank of Scotland Premierleague fixture against Aberdeen at Ibrox, it emerged yesterday.

    When the SPL re-opens its Hampden offices for business today after the Easter weekend break, it will receive the match report from its official delegate at the match, Alan Dick, which is believed to include mention of two renditions of a song by Rangers supporters containing a reference to “Fenian bastards”.

    http://sport.scotsman.com/football.cfm?id=584722006

  • darth rumsfeld

    The late great Johnny Thompson made his Old Firm debut for in goal for Celtic in the 1920s and was at the Copland Road end of Ibrox for the first half of the match in front of the home support. At half time he came in and said to star forward Jackie McCrory that he was horrified at the abuse from the Rangers fans who were calling him a “Fenian bastard”, amongst other unspeakable abuse. The experienced McCrory sought to reassure him ,saying he had been called that for years by the Rangers support,and not to let it affect his game, to which Thompson -a Protestant- replied “It’s alright for you. You are one!”

    If there is a moral to the story, it is that the aspirations of the bigots, if not bigotry itself, can be effectively overcome by ridicule. Thompson was tragically killed in an Old Firm collision with Belfastman Sam English during a game. His passing was mourned by all, and even the Rangers’ song “The ballad of Sam English” is not, as one might expect, a sick glorification of the tragedy, but a lament for how two lives were affected by the split second challenge for the ball. Similar decency across the divide has been seen in the tributes to Jimmy Johnstone and Davie Cooper from opposing fans. FIFA would be better encouraging this trend than trying to punish fans for the traditional baiting of opponents.

    When I’ve been to Old Firm games I enjoy the noise and colour from the Celtic end as a spectacle as much as the Rangers’response, and there is something moving about their choruses of the Fields of Athenry and the response of a riproaring chorus of Derry’s Walls. Twenty years ago I paid for my Cup Final ticket by selling inflatable giant Red Hands of Ulster outside Ibrox. The brilliant response from Celtic supporters was inflatable Popes. Some killjoy banned them both from Hampden. When Celtic were in the UEFA Cup final a few years ago they all brought beach balls and sombreros to Ibrox for the Old Firm game the Saturday before the final in Portugal- brilliantly funny jibe at the Gers’ expense.

    A vaccine is a small dose of the poison to innoculate against the full blown disease. Do the sectarian traditions of the Old Firm preserve and promote sectarianism in Scotland, or allow some of it to drain away? Just because there are peaks of violence on the evenings of these matches, does it mean that the psychopaths wouldn’t be out anyway? I speak as the victim of a “chibbing” on a Friday night before the match in Maryhill by the way.

  • Mike

    darth –

    “When Celtic were in the UEFA Cup final a few years ago they all brought beach balls and sombreros to Ibrox for the Old Firm game the Saturday before the final in Portugal- brilliantly funny jibe at the Gers’ expense.”

    Seem to remember from watching the TV coverage of the final day SPL decider games that season that the Rangers fans repsonded with some visual humour of their own (based on the line from Celtic fans “you’ll be watching The Bill when we’re in Seville”, which I think after Celtic’s defeat was adopted as “Tell all the Tims [hmm, does this count as sectarian?] you know, we’re top of the League and they’re no’, We were watching The Bill when you got beat in Seville, and you’ll never win two in a row”) – many turned up to that match in ‘The Bill’ style police helmets.

    That’s one great thing about football (or soccer, if you want) crowds – that sort of of sense of humour. If Old Firm fans could stick to this kind of rivalry and cut out the sectarian bit, it would be great.

  • Snuff Box

    Lovely stories Dath and Mike. Reminds me of the Nil by mouth campaign. It had a poster a a boy beaten up and with stitches. The caption read “sectarian jokes will have you in stitches”.

    It amazes me the way the overt sectarian nature of the rivalry is lauded by both sets of supporters. It seems the only thing worse than getting beaten in the old firm is when outsiders question the moral validity of that rivalry.

  • Snuff Box

    Realist

    “Did I not hear one of the county managers on TV recently giving off about the unacceptable level of abuse coming from certain crowds at GAA matches?”

    Possibly that is true. I have noticed this somewhat myself, albeit rarely. I believe this trend is influenced by soccer. Gaelic teams in Belfast are notoriously abusive however even so there is never any violence amongst crowds.

    “If you go to watch a working mans sport, you can expect some foul language, banter and abuse”

    Soccer is a broad based sport and is not exclusively the domain of “working men”. The assertion that any sport which attracts the working classes must also expect foul and abusive language is a nonsense. Just because supprters come from a certain social class doesnt mean that they cant be expected to behave in a gentlemanly manner.Also just because something is prevalent in a certain sport does’nt mean that attitudes can’t be changed. If clubs issued statements to its supporters on acceptable behaiour then this could be tackled.

    The benefits sholud be there for all to see. If soccer would clean up its act then it would surely get more poeple coming with young families to cheer on the local side.

  • páid

    some fantastic contributions above from my footballing if not political opponents. There is nothing like an old firm game for intensity, colour and passion – though the last one was too easy 😉

    I too perhaps semi-secretely thrill at the sight of the opponents in full voice and regalia. Phil Redmond the writer of ‘Boys from the Blackstuff’ and Brookside, I think, wrote of his guilt at feeling the thrill of being part of an abusive crowd, and the attraction to men of submerging your identity to become part of an army. I feel this at times, but also at other times, do my level best to seek accommodation with the other side, sometimes to the point of being almost judged a traitor to my ‘own’ side.

    Can you decouple the nasty side from the passion?

    Can you acknowledge the contradictory feelings of tribalism and wanting co-operation?

    I struggle to reconcile them.

    Sometimes it would be easy to be a simple bigot, but recovering that status is like trying to recover your virginity. 2 hours in Parkhead or Ibrox lets you drift back though, to that old comforting place, the tribal turf.

  • wes

    I see Celtic are trying to do their bit for the anti-sectarianism campaign.

    http://www.celticfc.net/newsroom/news.aspx?id='2006-04-21_1715JS