Arsenal Legend Shares Views on Racism in Football
By IBTimes Staff Reporter | February 13, 2013 11:33 PM EST
Former Barcelona and Arsenal striker Thierry Henry has identified point deductions as the optimal strategy to control racism at football grounds. The Frenchman believes fans will be less likely to racially abuse players if it directly affects their team's success.
"Obviously, I am not in charge of this type of decision," Henry told NBC sports, "That's (point deduction) the only way. Because you would find normally that fans do care about that."
Such legislation would be particularly harmful for clubs challenging for league titles but as Henry points out such high stakes should yield results.
"If you do take points away, that can be pretty massive [for teams] that want to win the title," he continued, "I do think that can be something that can be done."
Henry claims the strength of points deduction as a tactic lies in its ability to directly target fan sentiments.
"I tell you (the fan) that if you don't behave well, your team might lose the game, you might stop," he said, "I'm not saying you will stop, but you might stop. Because at the end of the day, we are all there for the team, for the club."
Racism is a hot topic in football with Inter Milan being fined €15,000 (approximately £13,000) this week for racist chants aimed at Mario Balotelli. The 22-year-old Italian international transferred to AC Milan from Manchester City.
Milan were also involved in another racism case, when midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng walked off the field after a friendly against Aurora Pro Patria. The action was condemned by FIFA President Sepp Blatter as a misguided solution, sparking a debate as to whether FIFA'S negligence on the issue has allowed racism in football to fester.
Henry believes racism has always been present at football grounds; the difference is now players are taking issue with it.
"It's not that it is happening more, it's more that the players are making people notice it more," he continued, "a lot of the time, a player used to go along with it. Now the players are calling the ref and pointing at the guy and saying that guy is saying something bad."
It is clear that, going forward, there is no place for racism in football. Players will no longer tolerate racist abuse and football's governing bodies need to ensure that the game's credibility is not affected by fan prejudice. Whether point deduction is the right measure is a larger debate but it is certainly a possibility.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Join the Conversation
- Manny Pacquiao vs. Chris Algieri Betting Odds: American Knockout Of Filipino Pays $10,000 From A $100 Bet
- 2014 Davis Cup Final: Switzerland Vs. France - Roger Federer Vs. Gael Monfils Live Streaming Info and Preview
- Brooklyn Nets Agree to Grant Andrei Kirilenko Indefinite Leave of Absence
- Freddie Roach Asks Manny Pacquiao Not To Beat Up Algieri Too Badly So Mayweather Will Not Be Scared And Agree To Super Fight
- LA Lakers: Kobe Bryant Attributes Past Outburst Against Dwight Howard To 'Heat Of The Moment,' Doesn't Feel The Same Way As Durant Does
- Walmart Pre-Black Friday 2014 Sale On Nov. 21, 2014 Includes Discounts On The 'NBA 2K15' For PS4 And The 'Skylanders Trap Team’ Starter Kit [WATCH VIDEO]
- More Bad News for Android 5.0 Lollipop As Problems Come In for Nexus and Other Devices
- BlackBerry Classic (aka Q20) Keyboard Shortcuts Explained In A Quick Video
- US To Supply Defensive Lethal Weapons To Kiev – A Vey Alarming Signal, Says Russia
- Amazon Black Friday 2014 Deals Start On Nov. 21, 2014 Including Limited-Time Lightning Deals And Deals Of The Day On Clothes, Toys, Jewelry, Watches, Bags, Accessories And Electronics
- Travel Alert: New Delta Air Lines Airbuses Could Be Seen In Australia Soon
- Walmart Canada Feeling The Heat As Grocery War Intensifies