Sports Letters: Soft punishment

Click to follow
Sir: The new football season is almost upon us and already the Football Association has shown its inadequacy in dealing with players who continually bring the game into disrepute by crude and offensive actions towards match officials and spectators. To impose a fine of pounds 5,000 on Ian Wright is similar to taking a bar of chocolate from a spoilt and unruly child and will achieve about as much good. Of course the FA cannot be held solely responsible, Arsenal must bear a considerable amount of criticism for failing to ensure everyone who wears the club's colours behaves in an exemplary manner. Wright, during his time at Highbury, has fallen a long way short of the standards once demanded by Arsenal's management, which is a great shame because at times he has displayed a talent which has been equal to the great stars who have preceeded him. Unless and until loutish behaviour, at player level, is expunged from the game, it is a 'pipe dream' to expect crowds to behave, regardless of all seater stadiums, extra policing and segregation of supporters. Is it too much to hope that those with the power take effective action before it is too late?

Yours faithfully,


Shepshed, Leicestershire

9 August