Undrafted – The Network

Footballing governing bodies – It’s time to step up!

Enough is enough. It’s time for the footballing governing bodies to step up and tackle racism in our game.

This time it’s UEFA letting the world down by issuing another pitiful ban to Slavia Prague’s Ondrej Kudela, who was found guilty of racially abusing Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara following their Europa League last 16 match.

Towards the end of the second leg, where Slavia Prague were winning 0-2, tempers were beginning to flair between the two sides. Following a foul on a Slavia player, the two teams became embroiled in some pushing and shoving. Kedula who was out of the picture at the time, made a 30 yard sprint to Kamara, covered his mouth and whispered something into Kamara’s ear, and then all hell broke loose.

Following an investigation, it was confirmed that Kedula had whispered racist language in Kamara’s ear. Which caused the on-pitch chaos and followed on into the tunnel after the game. Understandably upset and angry at what Kedula had said to him, Kamara confronted Kedula and assaulted him there and then. UEFA have subsequently banned Kamara for three matches for that incident.

Kamara and Kedula facing off following the incident. Image credit: Glasgow Live

Quite frankly, I find this ruling a disgrace. It really is a kick in the teeth for every anti-racism campaign running across the world. Kedula has been found GUILTY of racism and all he is missing is a few games? What message does that send out? The minimum should be a permanent ban from all European competition. A permanent ban from football would be the best decision but that would be down to FIFA . But this isn’t the first time UEFA or the other football governing bodies have got it wrong with their punishments. Below I will be highlighting some incidents that carried longer bans/fines than the one issued out to Ondrej Kedula.

For the full story on the incident, you can find it on skysports.com

In the world cup of 2012, Spain and Russia were handed fines of £16,137 and £24,203 respectively due to Mario Balotelli being subjected to monkey chants from the crowd. To put how measly these fines are into context, Uefa fined Nicklas Bendtner £50,000 for showing off a pair of Paddy Power branded underpants after scoring a goal.

Image Credit: The Independent

In May of 2020, Atletico Madrid and England full-back Kieran Trippier was charged by the FA for breaching their betting rules. Trippier had been found to have told his friends in a WhatsApp message group that he was leaving Tottenham for the Spanish side. This lead to a flurry of bets being placed upon the transfer. Trippier tried to fight the ban, but FIFA upheld the original decision and he was fined £70,000 and banned for 10 weeks.

Image credit: Eurosport

The French Football Federation suspended Nicolas Anelka for 18 matches for his role in the French team revolt in the 2010 World Cup. He was alleged to have been disrespectful to then manager Raymond Domenech which led to his expulsion from the team. This caused other team members to go on strike during an open training session when they refused to get off the bus. However, in 2019, Paris Saint Germain were fined a measly £86,000 for the illegal racial profiling of young recruits.

Image credit: Sky Sports

These are just a few examples of how lenient the footballing governing bodies have been when it comes to racism. Until the likes of UEFA, FIFA, The FFF, The English FA start to hand out harsher punishments for racist behaviour in the game, then all the hard work that goes into the likes of Kick It Out and the Black Lives Matter Movement, will all be in vain. Racism isn’t only a footballing problem, it’s a societal problem. But with so many millions across the world watching the game. It’s time that the football governing bodies step up and use their power to influence the world and to really punish racist behaviour to eradicate it from the game.

To read more Undrafted views regarding UEFA, but this time regarding the European Super League – Click here.

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