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Racism row will run and run

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These are almost unheard of times in football in so far as racism is concerned. There have been undercurrents appertaining to a racist culture in football - like the lack of coaches and managers of colour given the proportion of ethnic players in the British game. But the events unfolding around the Suarez and Terry affairs threatens to swamp the game at the highest level.

This is the age of the close up camera and both incidents have been magnified by the relentless coverage on the internet and social media. There is no doubt other incidents have occurred in the past and gone unrecorded. But, whilst Luis Suarez has come under the scrutiny of the football authorities, John Terry finds himself the subject of a criminal case. The fine difference seemingly being that no member of the public made a complaint about the Suarez incident whilst in the Terry case not only did the aggrieved player complain, so to did some people who saw and lip read the alleged racist comments on the TV.

The confusion surrounding both incidents is enhanced by the media who find themselves hamstrung in so far as they can't repeat the alleged words used for fear of recrimination. Footage of Terry mouthing the so called racist attack is 'bleeped out' by main stream broadcasters but is free to air on the internet.

The one thing that has been consistent is that both Liverpool and Chelsea have come out in full support of their players. What seems wrong is that Suarez had his case heard in a closed session whilst Terry will at least have his case aired in public. If we can't say what Suarez said how do we judge whether an 8 match ban was punitive or lenient.

We live in a grown up society and the least every party deserves is that the words supposedly used are expressed for all to judge. Then, and only then, can both players get a fair outcome.

In the meantime the Suarez appeal and the Terry court case will rumble on and on.


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