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Football Thread 2021/2022


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37 minutes ago, Jamie John said:

Anyway, do we reckon it'll be an entirely different starting XI on Sunday? I'd quite like to see Greenwood play (if he's even in the squad) are the run he's had for United.


Wholesale changes certainly. I’d not be surprised if John Stones starts again, he’s not featured for Manchester City yet this season so could probably use the minutes but beyond that you could make a case for 10 changes. 

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I wonder what has to happen for UEFA/FIFA to actually take points off these teams and impact their ability to qualify, then after that actually ban them - surely it's the only option left as behind closed doors doesn't work and small fines do nothing.

 

The possible concern of doing that is in setting a precedent and then right wing groups who don't care about football infiltrating crowds to cause chaos, nobody gives a toss if Hungary aren't in the next world cup but its a bigger issue if German or French right wing groups decide to use football as a political platform one expulsions are issued for persistent racism.

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1 minute ago, Gotters said:

I wonder what has to happen for UEFA/FIFA to actually take points off these teams and impact their ability to qualify, then after that actually ban them - surely it's the only option left as behind closed doors doesn't work and small fines do nothing.

 

The possible concern of doing that is in setting a precedent and then right wing groups who don't care about football infiltrating crowds to cause chaos, nobody gives a toss if Hungary aren't in the next world cup but its a bigger issue if German or French right wing groups decide to use football as a political platform one expulsions are issued for persistent racism.

 

I don't think they care enough, for a whole host of miserable reasons, and I think that'll be the case until a block of major footballing nations collectively refuse to play any further fixtures until <list of real ramifications> is signed off upon.

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One or two closed doors games is ineffective, but if the problem is fans, then I'd rather see a prolonged period of no fans (say, for qualifying for 2022 and 2024 tournaments), or neutral venue matches with no "home" support, than a team expelled for something they haven't themselves done.

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The only way anyone will ever get UEFA or FIFA to do anything is to somehow make it more financially damaging to them for them to continue to sit on their hands than to tackle the problem.

 

The sad thing is that sport could have power in this sort of thing if it chose to wield it. I don't know how this would be possible, but hypothetically if you were able to make it a choice for fans that they either stop the racist shit or they're never allowed to watch or play football ever again I'm pretty sure most of them would choose football.  We need to ban anyone who makes any kind of racist gesture or chanting from all levels of football for life. Ban huge swathes of people and stick to it even if it means losing their precious cash from the turnstiles.  Show them that if they want to be part of football they need to behave like reasonable human beings.

 

UEFA and FIFA won't do this because they see only markets.  They block gestures that promote inclusivity like lighting the Allianz Arena in rainbow colours because they don't want to upset the lucrative middle-east markets.  They are genuinely more concerned about not upsetting the racists than protecting the players from racist abuse because they want the racists' money. They need to be seen to be doing something, so they issue tiny fines - just the right amount that the organisation who has been fined will pay, but not enough to give them any incentive to do anything about it. That way they get to issue more fines in the future.  

 

As it stands, for all that the England team and others are doing by taking the knee, football is doing more to promote racism than fight it.  Mass overt displays of racism like last night's match just show racists that their views are held by many other people, and that they will have a place to feel like they belong at a football match.  They are shown that they can come to a football match and stand with the ultras and yell racist abuse at black players with impunity.  The sheer growth in the section of black shirted ultras from the Euros to last night was alarming.  Clearly it's something that is catching on, fueled by the statements from their government.

 

With the right leadership, football could send a message to the racists that they are not welcome, and lead society in a positive direction.  Sport is one of the few areas of society where it's status as (generally) a genuine meritocracy means that there are far less of the barriers put in place to hold black people back or segregate them, so we have loads of positive black role models at the very top of the game.  That could be powerful, but instead the ruling organisations are focused as always on their own corrupt grifts.  FIFA recently managed to get themselves named as one of the victims of their own corruption scandal, so part of the fine they had to pay goes back to them!  That's what they're doing. They don't care about doing any good in the world.

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2 hours ago, Gotters said:

The possible concern of doing that is in setting a precedent and then right wing groups who don't care about football infiltrating crowds to cause chaos, nobody gives a toss if Hungary aren't in the next world cup but its a bigger issue if German or French right wing groups decide to use football as a political platform one expulsions are issued for persistent racism.

 

Surely this would be prevented in the same way that hooliganism was eliminated from the English game - i.e. identify the offenders and arrest them and/or prevent them from attending games in the future.

 

The point is that the Hungarian FA (and others) are doing absolutely fuck all to combat this. Presumably the German and French FA would, if it came to it.

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2 hours ago, feltmonkey said:

The only way anyone will ever get UEFA or FIFA to do anything is to somehow make it more financially damaging to them for them to continue to sit on their hands than to tackle the problem.

 

The sad thing is that sport could have power in this sort of thing if it chose to wield it. I don't know how this would be possible, but hypothetically if you were able to make it a choice for fans that they either stop the racist shit or they're never allowed to watch or play football ever again I'm pretty sure most of them would choose football.  We need to ban anyone who makes any kind of racist gesture or chanting from all levels of football for life. Ban huge swathes of people and stick to it even if it means losing their precious cash from the turnstiles.  Show them that if they want to be part of football they need to behave like reasonable human beings.

 

UEFA and FIFA won't do this because they see only markets.  They block gestures that promote inclusivity like lighting the Allianz Arena in rainbow colours because they don't want to upset the lucrative middle-east markets.  They are genuinely more concerned about not upsetting the racists than protecting the players from racist abuse because they want the racists' money. They need to be seen to be doing something, so they issue tiny fines - just the right amount that the organisation who has been fined will pay, but not enough to give them any incentive to do anything about it. That way they get to issue more fines in the future.  

 

As it stands, for all that the England team and others are doing by taking the knee, football is doing more to promote racism than fight it.  Mass overt displays of racism like last night's match just show racists that their views are held by many other people, and that they will have a place to feel like they belong at a football match.  They are shown that they can come to a football match and stand with the ultras and yell racist abuse at black players with impunity.  The sheer growth in the section of black shirted ultras from the Euros to last night was alarming.  Clearly it's something that is catching on, fueled by the statements from their government.

 

With the right leadership, football could send a message to the racists that they are not welcome, and lead society in a positive direction.  Sport is one of the few areas of society where it's status as (generally) a genuine meritocracy means that there are far less of the barriers put in place to hold black people back or segregate them, so we have loads of positive black role models at the very top of the game.  That could be powerful, but instead the ruling organisations are focused as always on their own corrupt grifts.  FIFA recently managed to get themselves named as one of the victims of their own corruption scandal, so part of the fine they had to pay goes back to them!  That's what they're doing. They don't care about doing any good in the world.

Whilst I like the sentiment behind this, there are still clear and obvious issues within the sport in general outside of the fans that also needs addressing. Where are all the high-profile black managers? Where are pretty much any Asian players, especially those from the sub-continent? Where are black hosts of football shows (Alex Scott at least now does Football Focus, which is a start, but outside of that?) 

 

The game is still overwhelming white in any position of power and I don't think this helps in the othering that racists like to amplify.

 

I'm not stupid enough to think that having more black managers will instantly convert racists into good citizens, but it would help add to the voices that want to tackle the issue in the halls of power, because currently I don't see the white leadership doing much more than these stupid fines that do nothing.

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41 minutes ago, Naysonymous said:

I was going to say, I thought hooligans successfully stormed Wembley stadium during the final of Euro 2020.  

 

Fair point, I suppose, and perhaps I overstated it but we're a very long way from 'firms' organising mass brawls at game, aren't we? I don't think there's much of an argument that pretty decent progress wasn't made since the 80s or whenever and it's a reasonable comparison.

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26 minutes ago, hmm said:

 

Fair point, I suppose, and perhaps I overstated it but we're a very long way from 'firms' organising mass brawls at game, aren't we? I don't think there's much of an argument that pretty decent progress wasn't made since the 80s or whenever and it's a reasonable comparison.

 

Yeah, a load of progress has been made, but if you were travelling away without a clue you'd easily find yourself in amongst trouble at service stations a few times a season. Most of them don't even go on to the match.

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1 hour ago, Gabe said:

Whilst I like the sentiment behind this, there are still clear and obvious issues within the sport in general outside of the fans that also needs addressing. Where are all the high-profile black managers? Where are pretty much any Asian players, especially those from the sub-continent? Where are black hosts of football shows (Alex Scott at least now does Football Focus, which is a start, but outside of that?) 

 

The game is still overwhelming white in any position of power and I don't think this helps in the othering that racists like to amplify.

 

I'm not stupid enough to think that having more black managers will instantly convert racists into good citizens, but it would help add to the voices that want to tackle the issue in the halls of power, because currently I don't see the white leadership doing much more than these stupid fines that do nothing.

 

Yes, you're absolutely right of course. There are a lot of areas that need addressing, and I know the sport itself is far from perfect. There need to be black managers, black people in the board rooms, black referees, etc, and the lack of Asian players is concerning.  There have only been six British Asian players who have played in the Premier League since it began. Of those, many fans might not even have realised that Jimmy Carter is Asian. Neil Taylor of Aston Villa and Leicester's Hamza Choudhury are current trail blazers on a trail that should be well-trodden by now.

 

However, the fact that kids of all races have the likes of Rashford and Sterling to look up to can only be a good thing.  :)

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I was going to say that organised hooliganism had largely disappeared but today nine Newcastle fans were jailed for a combined total of almost 20 years for deliberately smashing up a Burnley pub. Two of them went in while the match was still on to cause a scene / scout it out and returned with the other seven to smash the place up.

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12 hours ago, Fry Crayola said:

One or two closed doors games is ineffective, but if the problem is fans, then I'd rather see a prolonged period of no fans (say, for qualifying for 2022 and 2024 tournaments), or neutral venue matches with no "home" support, than a team expelled for something they haven't themselves done.

They may not have done something themselves, but have they done anything to change/stop it? I mean they walked over and clapped the ultras at the end of the game.

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10 hours ago, Naysonymous said:

I was going to say, I thought hooligans successfully stormed Wembley stadium during the final of Euro 2020.  


I assume we’re facing closed door games for that. Certainly it makes the moral high horse that our media and Johnson jump on at the slightest opportunity look absurd.

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12 hours ago, Plissken said:

I was going to say that organised hooliganism had largely disappeared but today nine Newcastle fans were jailed for a combined total of almost 20 years for deliberately smashing up a Burnley pub. Two of them went in while the match was still on to cause a scene / scout it out and returned with the other seven to smash the place up.

 

Away the lads.

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11 hours ago, Gabzy said:

They may not have done something themselves, but have they done anything to change/stop it? I mean they walked over and clapped the ultras at the end of the game.

 

Sure, they're not entirely innocent, but nor do they have any real power to stop it without sacrificing their own chances of making it to the World Cup. Something which they're as unlikely to do as any other side.

If the problem is racist fans, the first step should be to remove them for more than a token number of games.

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40 minutes ago, Fry Crayola said:

 

Sure, they're not entirely innocent, but nor do they have any real power to stop it without sacrificing their own chances of making it to the World Cup. Something which they're as unlikely to do as any other side.

 

If the problem is racist fans, the first step should be to remove them for more than a token number of games.

They could not clap the racist fans. They could publicly voice their disapproval of the fans’ behaviour. They could publicly request their fans to stop. None of these would affect their word cup chances. It may not make a difference, but if racists are supporting you then you need to do more than just ignore it.

 I agree the banning should also happen, and for much longer. But unless the fans feel that disapproval from everyone, including the players they’re so strongly supporting, will it make any difference?

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And all that would happen if players did that is have the ultras turn on them, with the implicit (and probably explicit) support of the FA and Government.

 

Remember that the England team was under fire from the newspapers, Home Secretary and Prime Minister for taking the knee. After Euro 2020 concluded those people basically shut up and avoided being accountable for their actions. However they have previously and were looking to run hit pieces on certain players.

 

Hungary is in a worse place politically than us for speaking out right now. I’d love to see the players making a public stand (and a couple have) but it’s likely to be a career ender for all but one or two.

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