As we’ve witnessed on several occasions, when you get a bunch of football fans together, it often gives the minority an opportunity to shout something offensive, safe in the knowledge that they can get away with it. Indeed, a debate has been rumbling on about how to punish the Spurs fans who allegedly made homophobic chants at Sol Campbell recently, while the FA’s decision for England not to play a friendly in Madrid has caused something of a storm.
You can understand why the English footballing body don’t want to see the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Ashley Cole and Emile Heskey racially abused by the Spanish supporters, although The Sun report that Cesc Fabregas has gone on the defensive about the decision. He dismisses that any of the national team’s fans are racist, although what does that make somebody who is fond of monkey noises whenever a black player touches the ball?
Fabregas said: “I don’t know if racism is the word.
“I wasn’t in the team when that match was played but Ashley Cole was playing for England and he felt a little upset.
“They see us as racists. But I don’t think we are. It’s a bit extreme.”
Real Madrid keeper Iker Casillas was stunned by the FA’s bid to change stadiums.
He said: “That really does seem like a joke and completely stupid to me.
“At every stadium there are heartless people who shout against everything and everyone.
“But you can’t generalise and even less with the crowd at the Bernabeu who have always shown their respect and their love for good football.”
Do you think that the Arsenal midfielder and his national team-mates are right to defend their countrymen, and that England should have just gone ahead and played at the Bernabeu? Or did the FA need to take matters into their own hands, with seemingly very little being done about sets of fans who continue to make racist jibes?