Should soccer teams be punished for the racist behaviour of fans?


As FIFA confronts another round of concerns about racism in the stands, we hear the debate on whether teams should take the rap for fans. A look at who to punish and how to punish.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter says that soccer teams should be punished (and eliminated) when racist fans lash out at players


Manchester City's Yaya Touré said he had
told match referee Ovidiu Hategan about
the racist chants during the Mosco game.
(Epsilon/Getty Images)

Soccer commentators turned their attention from the field during last week's game between Manchester City and CSKA Moscow in Russia. The bad plays all seemed to be coming from the stands where fans hurled racist insults at Manchester player Yaya Touré, a native of the Ivory Coast.

After the game, he sounded plenty annoyed with fans and professional football.

"I'm very, very disappointed about what they did today and I think UEFA have to take a bit stance on that. Because if they don't the player of colour will be always in the same situation. Because after that I think the club says we have to educate the fans, but I think it's enough. It's enough. Too much is too much."

Yaya Touré, Manchester City midfielder

Yaya Touré went on to raise the possibility of boycotting the 2018 World Cup in Russia. That idea didn't go over well with FIFA president Sepp Blatter. But Mr. Blatter did weigh in with an idea for dealing with unruly fans. He suggested teams be punished for the racist jeers. That could mean deducting points, or yanking teams from competitions if their fans cross the line.

Punishing athletes is not unheard of ... But is it an effective way to discourage bad behaviour in the stands?

  • Cathal Kelly is a sports columnist with the Toronto Star. He was in Toronto.

What do you think? Should racist sports fans be punished? How?

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This segment was produced by The Current's Kristin Nelson and Vanessa Greco.

*Music Bridge: Technologic - APM Music

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