JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Racism calls for a tough response

Video settings

Please Log in to update your video settings

Video will begin in 5 seconds.

Video settings

Please Log in to update your video settings

Flares dampen Sydney derby blockbuster

Michael Lynch and Scott Spits review the weekend A-League action, including the fiery Sydney derby.

PT0M0S 620 349

COMMENT

WHEN sporting authorities talk about zero tolerance for racial abuse, they have to mean what they say – and start dishing out heavy penalties – bans and fines – for players and fans who abuse opponents or players of rival clubs on the basis of their skin colour.

No mealy-mouthed equivocation, no double standards because one perpetrator is a star player and the other isn't, no dual sentence provisions because one racist chanter on the terraces is a teenager and the other a 50-year-old.

Offenders have to be made aware that such abuse has no place in the modern world by using punishments they understand – suspending players, and depriving fans of the right to watch their team.

Racism raised its ugly head on a controversial weekend for the A-League, along with the vexed issue of flares, following the Sydney-Western Sydney Wanderers clash that took place in a fevered atmosphere at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night.

Wellington's Paul Ifill alleged he was racially abused by a small section of the Hindmarsh crowd during his side's loss to Adelaide on Sunday afternoon.

Ifill is one of the best players in the league and has made an enormous impression since coming to New Zealand after spending the bulk of his career in England with Millwall, Crystal Palace and Sheffield United.

He is also black – one of a growing number of black players, some from England, some from Africa and many of local origin, who are making a mark in the A-League.

As the number of black or mixed-race players in the competition increases, the FFA has to ensure that it cracks down on any supporters who abuse players on the basis of skin colour.

For the defenders of the racists who seek to explain it all away as good-natured banter, that is not good enough. It's not banter. It is rude, ignorant and prejudiced.

The fact that this is not self-evident to some illustrates that this is not a sport-specific problem but, as we all know, a societal one.

Too many, alas, want to use sporting occasions to display their prejudice.

Flares were also a topic of debate after the Sydney derby. For soccer haters, flares offer them a chance to accuse supporters of putting lives in danger and sparking riots. Flares might be a big part of the game in Croatia, Italy, and other parts of Europe. They are not a part of the game here.

They can hurt people and cause distress. And they also create problems for the club whose supporters let them off, sullying the club's image and attracting fines.

Flares are not a societal problem. They are a problem with a mainly youthful, small section of soccer supporters who seem to think it's cool to copy what most of them have only seen on television. The sooner they wise up the better, as clubs will crack down hard on the perpetrators. Is ripping one really worth a five-year ban?

<p><b>Australia</b> (1st innings) 5-450 decl<br>
<br>
<b>Sri Lanka</b> (1st innings) 336<br>
<br>
<b>Australia</b> (2nd Innings - overnight 0-27)<br>
E COWAN b Welegedara 56<br>
D WARNER c P Jayawardene b Herath 68<br>
P HUGHES b Eranga 16<br>
S WATSON st P Jayawardene b Herath 5<br>
M WADE c Kulasekara b Herath 11<br>
M CLARKE (retired hurt) 57<br>
M HUSSEY not out 31<br>
P SIDDLE c P Jayawardene b Welegedara 4<br>
M STARC lbw b b Welegedara 5<br>
N LYON b Herath 11<br>
B HILFENHAUS lbw b b Herath 0<br>
<b>Sundries</b> (10lb, 4nb) 14<br>
<b>Total</b> 278<br>
<b>Fall of wickets:</b> 132 (Warner), 140 (Cowan), 153 (Watson), 165 (Hughes), 181 (Wade), 250 (Siddle), 256 (Starc), 271 (Lyon), 278 (Hilfenhaus). <br>
<b>Bowling:</b> N Kulasekara 12-3-24-0 (1nb), C Welegedara 22-3-89-3 (3nb), T Dilshan 2-0-2-0, S Eranga 11-0-53-1, A Mathews 5-2-5-0, R Herath 21.5-2-95-5.
<br>
<br>
<b>Sri Lanka</b> (2nd Innings)<br>
D KARUNARATNE b Starc 30<br>
T DILSHAN c Wade b Watson 11<br>
K SANGAKKARA not out 18<br>
M JAYAWARDENE not out 5<br>
<b>Sundries</b> (1b) 1<br>
<b>Total</b> (2 wkts - close) 65<br>
<b>Fall of wickets:</b> 26 (Dilshan), 47 (Karunaratne). Bowling: M Starc 10-4-21-1, P Siddle 7-3-12-0, S Watson 9-4-10-1, N Lyon 10-3-16-0, M Hussey 1-0-5-0.</p>
<p>
<b>HIGHEST FOURTH INNINGS TOTALS TO WIN A TEST</b><br>
<b>7-418</b> - West Indies v Australia, St John's, 2003<br>
<b>4-414</b> - South Africa v Australia, Perth, 2008<br>
<b>4-406</b> - India v West Indies, Port of Spain, 1976<br>
<b>3-404</b> - Australia v England, Leeds, 1948<br>
<b>4-387</b> - India v England, Chennai, 2008<br>
<br>
<b>HIGHEST FOURTH INNING TOTALS BY SRI LANKA</b><br>
<b>410</b> - v Australia, Hobart, 2007 (lost)<br>
<b>4-391</b> - v Pakistan, Colombo, 2009 (draw)<br>
<b>9-352</b> - v South Africa, Colombo, 2006 (won)<br>
<b>348</b> - v Australia, Hobart, 1989 (lost)<br>
<b>6-344</b> - v New Zealand, Hamilton, 1991 (draw)<br>
<br>
<b>HIGHEST SUCCESSFUL RUN CHASE IN HOBART</b><br>
<b>6-369</b> - Australia v Pakistan, 1999</p>ax



7 comments so far

  • Yes racism does need a strong response. The problem is what the definition of racism is. we are now so politically correct that even referring to a race or religion is deemed racist whether there is intent or not.
    If we all became a bit more reasonable and not so ridiculous in our definitions it may be a lot easier.

    I recall my daughter in yr 12 being called a racist by a teacher for answering a question about stereotypes with the answer Asian.. That is how deformed our definitions have become.

    Commenter
    peter gc
    Date and time
    December 18, 2012, 1:44PM
    • Thankfully the ethnic based days of the NSL are gone - the racism amongst what I assume to be a small minority just needs to be put down at every opportunity. The AFL and NRL have had their issues too - it's not a code but individuals who need to be frozen out.

      However the flares IS a code thing - and soccer in this country needs to ensure that flares are never tolerated. Like fire crackers in the past - it's all fun and games until someone loses an eye. And inside a sports stadium - it's not even fun and games.

      Commenter
      Michael C
      Location
      Melb
      Date and time
      December 18, 2012, 2:13PM
      • 'Flares...They are not a part of the game here.'
        Speak for yourself. I'm not sure what qualifies you to make that aspersion. Obviously you haven't attended much Australian football. Maybe you should stick to writing about what you know, for example inherit and long standing racism in UK football. That's when the age isn't referring to flares in Croatia and Italy and showing footage from Chile in it's video section.

        Commenter
        contro il calcio moderno
        Date and time
        December 18, 2012, 2:41PM
        • Could not agree more, Australia is the most racist country on earth. Fancy letting 99,000 Australian's including 55,000 children sleep on the streets every night, when we give illegal arrivals, accomodation, internet, newstart, medical, clothing, food, phone cards, visa's etc.

          Commenter
          Denise
          Date and time
          December 18, 2012, 3:50PM
          • Whilst I agree that prejudice against somebody simply because of the skin colour is utterly ridiculous and hard to understand, Australia needs to avoid going down the line of the UK, where the hunt for "racists under the beds" has taken on McCarthyite proportions. Selective "Racism" now seems to occupy. from an official standpoint, (and therefore take up valuable police time) a gravity out of all proportion to other much more heinous crimes, and is a convenient label thrown all too often at someone whose viewpoint differs from your own, or whose remarks have been misheard or misunderstood (viz EPL Ref Mark Clattenburg's recent problems at Chelsea which were proved to be entirely unfounded)

            Commenter
            Beware of things getting out of hand
            Date and time
            December 18, 2012, 4:00PM
            • Well written article Lynch, i completely agree and its about time Racism is taken seriously as a major issue in Australian society, with sports being a very good place to start combating it. Its not enough for a sporting body to say that they don't support racism, what's important is to punish those who perpetrate it.

              When accused of Racism, Australians are quick to point out "Racism happens everywhere" , as if finding comfort in comparing themselves with (usually) third world nations. Well yes it does, but NOT at the scale we have it in Australia. Its NOT "Good Fun" to be RACIST, its wrong, criminal, dehumanizing and sign of a sick twisted society. In the USA & UK racists would be banned, sometime for LIFE from attending sporting events. Players who are racists are CELEBRATED too often in Australia, but in other developed nations they will shamed to death by the media, forced to apologize and hide for the rest of their careers.

              Enough is enough, Its 2012 and i just can't believe we still "debate" whether something is racist or not, and the way racism is allowed at every level of our society, from our unfortunate politicians, to our celebrities and sportsmen. Racists must be called for what they are and punished accordingly. The Media needs to play a role in promoting and educating people about Racism, rather than simply "debating" Racism. Its not a debate, its a fact.

              Commenter
              James Butler
              Location
              Melbourne
              Date and time
              December 18, 2012, 4:42PM
              • These problems have been common within soccer for many years and will continue unless the administrators do something to restrict the hooligans of the game being part of the action

                Commenter
                Martyn50
                Location
                Balcatta
                Date and time
                December 18, 2012, 11:56PM

                Make a comment

                You are logged in as [Logout]

                All information entered below may be published.

                Error: Please enter your screen name.

                Error: Your Screen Name must be less than 255 characters.

                Error: Your Location must be less than 255 characters.

                Error: Please enter your comment.

                Error: Your Message must be less than 300 words.

                Post to

                You need to have read and accepted the Conditions of Use.

                Thank you

                Your comment has been submitted for approval.

                Comments are moderated and are generally published if they are on-topic and not abusive.

                Related Coverage

                Hyundai A-League 2015-16

                Round 1
                Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
                WSW 1vs BRI 3 Stats
                Fri, 09 OctTimes shown AEDT
                ADE 0vs VIC 0 Stats
                Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
                CCM 3vs PER 2 Stats
                SYD 1vs MCY 1 Stats
                Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
                WEL 1vs NEW 2 Stats
                View All Fixtures
                Round 2
                Fri, 16 OctTimes shown AEDT
                ADE 1vs WSW 1 Stats
                Sat, 17 OctTimes shown AEDT
                NEW 0vs SYD 1 Stats
                VIC 3vs MCY 2 Stats
                Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
                BRI 2vs CCM 1 Stats
                PER 1vs WEL 2 Stats
                View All Fixtures
                Round 3
                Fri, 23 OctTimes shown AEDT
                NEW 1vs VIC 0 Stats
                Sat, 24 OctTimes shown AEDT
                WEL 3vs BRI 2 Stats
                SYD 1vs WSW 0 Stats
                Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
                MCY 3vs CCM 1 Stats
                PER 3vs ADE 1 Stats
                View All Fixtures
                Round 4
                Fri, 30 OctTimes shown AEDT
                MCY 2vs NEW 3 Stats
                Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
                CCM 1vs SYD 3 Stats
                BRI 3vs ADE 0 Stats
                Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
                WSW 1vs PER 0 Stats
                Mon, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
                VIC 3vs WEL 0 Stats
                View All Fixtures
                Round 5
                Thu, 05 NovTimes shown AEDT
                ADE 2vs MCY 4 Stats
                Fri, 06 NovTimes shown AEDT
                SYD 0vs BRI 0 Stats
                Sat, 07 NovTimes shown AEDT
                NEW 1vs WSW 2 Stats
                Sun, 08 NovTimes shown AEDT
                CCM 1vs WEL 1 Stats
                Wed, 16 DecTimes shown AEDT
                PER 1vs VIC 0 Stats
                View All Fixtures
                Round 6
                Fri, 13 NovTimes shown AEDT
                WEL 4vs ADE 2 Stats
                MCY 0vs WSW 3 Stats
                Sat, 14 NovTimes shown AEDT
                NEW 1vs CCM 1 Stats
                SYD 2vs VIC 4 Stats
                Sun, 15 NovTimes shown AEDT
                BRI 1vs PER 0 Stats
                View All Fixtures
                Round 7
                Thu, 19 NovTimes shown AEDT
                VIC 2vs CCM 1 Stats
                Fri, 20 NovTimes shown AEDT
                BRI 1vs MCY 1 Stats
                Sat, 21 NovTimes shown AEDT
                WSW 2vs WEL 1 Stats
                PER 0vs SYD 0 Stats
                Sun, 22 NovTimes shown AEDT
                ADE 0vs NEW 0 Stats
                View All Fixtures
                Round 8
                Thu, 26 NovTimes shown AEDT
                SYD 0vs WEL 0 Stats
                Fri, 27 NovTimes shown AEDT
                MCY 5vs PER 1 Stats
                Sat, 28 NovTimes shown AEDT
                NEW 1vs BRI 1 Stats
                VIC 2vs ADE 1 Stats
                Sun, 29 NovTimes shown AEDT
                CCM 0vs WSW 2 Stats
                View All Fixtures
                Round 9
                Thu, 03 DecTimes shown AEDT
                CCM 1vs MCY 5 Stats
                Fri, 04 DecTimes shown AEDT
                SYD 1vs NEW 0 Stats
                Sat, 05 DecTimes shown AEDT
                WEL 2vs VIC 0 Stats
                WSW 2vs BRI 1 Stats
                Sun, 06 DecTimes shown AEDT
                ADE 1vs PER 0 Stats
                View All Fixtures
                Round 10
                Fri, 11 DecTimes shown AEDT
                ADE 2vs SYD 1 Stats
                Sat, 12 DecTimes shown AEDT
                BRI 2vs WEL 1 Stats
                WSW 2vs VIC 0 Stats
                PER 2vs CCM 1 Stats
                Sun, 13 DecTimes shown AEDT
                NEW 0vs MCY 4 Stats
                View All Fixtures
                Round 11
                Fri, 18 DecTimes shown AEDT
                NEW 0vs ADE 0 Stats
                Sat, 19 DecTimes shown AEDT
                WEL 1vs SYD 1 Stats
                MCY 2vs VIC 1 Stats
                PER 2vs WSW 2 Stats
                Sun, 20 DecTimes shown AEDT
                CCM 0vs BRI 1 Stats
                View All Fixtures
                Round 12
                Thu, 24 DecTimes shown AEDT
                WSW 2vs NEW 0 Stats
                Sat, 26 DecTimes shown AEDT
                ADE 3vs WEL 0 Stats
                SYD 4vs CCM 1 Stats
                Sun, 27 DecTimes shown AEDT
                VIC 1vs PER 1 Stats
                BRI 3vs MCY 1 Stats
                View All Fixtures
                Round 13
                Thu, 31 DecTimes shown AEDT
                CCM 3vs WEL 1 Stats
                Fri, 01 JanTimes shown AEDT
                WSW 0vs ADE 0 Stats
                Sat, 02 JanTimes shown AEDT
                BRI 2vs PER 1 Stats
                MCY 2vs SYD 2 Stats
                Sun, 03 JanTimes shown AEDT
                NEW 0vs VIC 1 Stats
                View All Fixtures
                Round 14
                Fri, 08 JanTimes shown AEDT
                CCM 3vs VIC 3 Stats
                Sat, 09 JanTimes shown AEDT
                SYD 2vs NEW 0 Stats
                MCY 3vs WSW 2 Stats
                PER 1vs ADE 3 Stats
                Sun, 10 JanTimes shown AEDT
                WEL 0vs BRI 0 Stats
                View All Fixtures
                Round 15
                Fri, 15 JanTimes shown AEDT
                VIC 4vs BRI 0 Stats
                Sat, 16 JanTimes shown AEDT
                ADE 3vs CCM 1 Stats
                WSW 1vs SYD 2 Stats
                PER 2vs MCY 2 Stats
                Sun, 17 JanTimes shown AEDT
                NEW 3vs WEL 1 Stats
                View All Fixtures
                Round 16
                Fri, 22 JanTimes shown AEDT
                BRI 1vs ADE 4 Stats
                Sat, 23 JanTimes shown AEDT
                CCM 1vs WSW 2 Stats
                Sun, 24 JanTimes shown AEDT
                NEW 1vs PER 6 Stats
                Mon, 25 JanTimes shown AEDT
                MCY 3vs WEL 1 Stats
                Tue, 26 JanTimes shown AEDT
                VIC 1vs SYD 0 Stats
                View All Fixtures
                Round 17
                Fri, 29 JanTimes shown AEDT
                WSW 4vs MCY 3 Stats
                Sat, 30 JanTimes shown AEDT
                WEL 1vs CCM 3 Stats
                SYD 1vs BRI 3 Stats
                PER 3vs VIC 2 Stats
                Sun, 31 JanTimes shown AEDT
                ADE 1vs NEW 0 Stats
                View All Fixtures
                Round 18
                Fri, 05 FebTimes shown AEDT
                ADE 2vs SYD 2 Stats
                Sat, 06 FebTimes shown AEDT
                BRI 4vs CCM 0 Stats
                VIC 1vs WSW 1 Stats
                Sun, 07 FebTimes shown AEDT
                WEL 0vs PER 1 Stats
                NEW 2vs MCY 1 Stats
                View All Fixtures
                Round 19
                Fri, 12 FebTimes shown AEDT
                BRI vs NEW 20:00Suncorp Stadium
                Sat, 13 FebTimes shown AEDT
                SYD vs PER 17:15Allianz Stadium
                MCY vs VIC 19:30AAMI Park
                Sun, 14 FebTimes shown AEDT
                CCM vs ADE 15:00Central Coast Stadium
                WSW vs WEL 17:00Pirtek Stadium
                View All Fixtures
                Round 20
                Fri, 19 FebTimes shown AEDT
                VIC vs ADE 19:40AAMI Park
                Sat, 20 FebTimes shown AEDT
                NEW vs WEL 17:15Hunter Stadium
                SYD vs WSW 19:30Allianz Stadium
                PER vs BRI 21:40nib Stadium
                Sun, 21 FebTimes shown AEDT
                MCY vs CCM 17:00AAMI Park
                View All Fixtures
                Round 21
                Fri, 26 FebTimes shown AEDT
                WEL vs MCY 17:30Westpac Stadium
                WSW vs PER 19:40Pirtek Stadium
                Sat, 27 FebTimes shown AEDT
                ADE vs BRI 17:15Coopers Stadium
                VIC vs SYD 19:30AAMI Park
                Sun, 28 FebTimes shown AEDT
                CCM vs NEW 17:00Central Coast Stadium
                View All Fixtures
                Round 22
                Fri, 04 MarTimes shown AEDT
                BRI vs WSW 20:00Suncorp Stadium
                Sat, 05 MarTimes shown AEDT
                WEL vs ADE 17:15Westpac Stadium
                MCY vs SYD 19:30AAMI Park
                Sun, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
                CCM vs VIC 17:00Central Coast Stadium
                Mon, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
                PER vs NEW 20:00nib Stadium
                View All Fixtures
                Round 23
                Fri, 11 MarTimes shown AEDT
                ADE vs MCY 19:40Coopers Stadium
                Sat, 12 MarTimes shown AEDT
                SYD vs WEL 17:15Allianz Stadium
                BRI vs VIC 19:30Suncorp Stadium
                PER vs CCM 21:40nib Stadium
                Sun, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
                NEW vs WSW 17:00Hunter Stadium
                View All Fixtures
                Round 24
                Fri, 18 MarTimes shown AEDT
                MCY vs BRI 19:40AAMI Park
                Sat, 19 MarTimes shown AEDT
                CCM vs SYD 17:15Central Coast Stadium
                WSW vs ADE 19:30Pirtek Stadium
                Sun, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
                WEL vs PER 15:00Westpac Stadium
                VIC vs NEW 17:00AAMI Park
                View All Fixtures
                Round 25
                Fri, 25 MarTimes shown AEDT
                VIC vs WSW 19:40AAMI Park
                Sat, 26 MarTimes shown AEDT
                NEW vs PER 17:15Hunter Stadium
                BRI vs SYD 19:30Suncorp Stadium
                Sun, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
                ADE vs CCM 17:00Coopers Stadium
                Mon, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
                MCY vs WEL 19:30AAMI Park
                View All Fixtures
                Round 26
                Fri, 01 AprTimes shown AEDT
                WSW vs CCM 19:40Pirtek Stadium
                Sat, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
                WEL vs VIC 17:15Westpac Stadium
                SYD vs ADE 19:30Allianz Stadium
                Sun, 03 AprTimes shown AEST
                BRI vs NEW 17:00Suncorp Stadium
                PER vs MCY 19:00nib Stadium
                View All Fixtures
                Round 27
                Fri, 08 AprTimes shown AEST
                MCY vs ADE 19:40AAMI Park
                Sat, 09 AprTimes shown AEST
                CCM vs NEW 17:15Central Coast Stadium
                VIC vs BRI 19:30AAMI Park
                Sun, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
                WEL vs WSW 15:00Westpac Stadium
                SYD vs PER 17:00Allianz Stadium
                View All Fixtures
                Hyundai A-League 2015-16
                Overall standings
                Team P W L +/- Pts
                Western Sydney Wanderers FC 18 10 4 10 34
                Brisbane Roar FC 19 10 5 8 34
                Melbourne City FC 18 8 6 11 28
                Melbourne Victory 18 8 6 6 28
                Sydney FC 18 7 4 5 28
                Adelaide United 18 7 5 3 27
                Perth Glory 18 6 8 -1 22
                Newcastle Jets 19 6 9 -11 22
                View all
                 

                HuffPost Australia

                Featured advertisers