Uefa must get tough on racism with £1m fines, says Anderson
Thursday 15 April 2010
England's first black international has condemned world football's attempts to rid the game of racism.
Viv Anderson, who signalled a huge culture change within the English game when he was called up by Ron Greenwood in 1978 for the first in a 30-cap career, said: "We have our house in order in the UK. Nobody is allowed to chant. It is when we go to other countries. To get rid of it, the lead has to come from Uefa. The fines have to be more stringent."
Anderson, who has just launched his autobiography, First Among Unequals, won back-to-back European Cups during his days at Nottingham Forest and became one of the few men to play under both Brian Clough and Sir Alex Ferguson when he was signed by Manchester United.
He believes racism in European football has been allowed to fester for long enough. "When you are talking about a £14,000 fine for abusing England players, it is a nonsense. I know it is a minority but if the fines were £1 million, that would have an impact.
"People would stand up and take notice about who was coming into the stadiums and what they were doing. I don't know what the answer is but the fines are ridiculous."
Anderson does not believe the game's authorities have taken seriously black players' threats to take unilateral action in the face of abuse. Samuel Eto'o was the first in a succession of high-profile players to say they would be willing to walk off a pitch if they were isolated.
"There are a lot of middle-class white people running football," he said. "This is 2010. We live in a multiracial world. If you had paid £30 to watch a match and someone like Eto'o or Thierry Henry walks off because of a few idiots, how would you feel? They have to clamp down on it. Racism should have been eradicated by now."
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