Uefa: Does the punishment fit the crime?

In a year where racism in football has reared its ugly head, with the Luis Suarez and John Terry cases, along with the recent racist abuse England under 21 players received in Serbia, you have to question whether Uefa are doing enough to prevent these acts of racism from occurring on a regular basis.

The main issue many people bring up is that Uefa’s fines that are handed out for racism do not fit the crime.

Just to give you an idea of fines handed out in the last two years, The Bulgarian FA were fined £34,230 when their fans aimed monkey chants at several England players including Ashley Cole and Theo Walcott. Furthermore, in April 2012 Porto were fined just £16,700 for racist abuse aimed at Mario Balotelli and just two months ago, Lazio were fined £32,500 for loud monkey chanting aimed at Tottenham players that included Jermain Defoe and Aaron Lennon.

All these fines are relatively small for the size of the clubs and corporations that run the game we all love in various countries. Do they just see it as taking the fine and not doing anything about it, whereas a larger fine and tougher sanctions such as bans from competitions, could lead to these clubs actually educating fans, instead of turning a blind eye to it. In a nutshell, Uefa should be doing more.

Another sense of outrage is other fines that are handed out by Uefa are regularly higher than fines for racism.

Bringing your attention to the Euro 2012 Championships held in Ukraine and Poland in the Summer of this year, Russia and Spain were handed a combined fine of £40,335 for racially abusing at Czech Republic defender.

However in the same tournament, Nicklas Bendtner, a striker for Denmark, scored a goal for his team and revealed branded Paddy Power pants (see image below) and was fined £80,000 by Uefa for unauthorised sponsorship

Am I the only one who does not see the logic in this? How can it be right for a globally known footballing organisation to take a harder stance with unauthorised sponsorship then with racism?
It doesn’t just end here, this has been a regular trend for years. A few examples of this are:

• In June 2009, Chelsea were fined £85,000 for failure to control its players and fans.
• In March 2012, Arsenal were fined £33,000 for confronting a match referee
• In April 2012, Manchester City were fined £24,740 for delaying the second half of a match

From the facts, you would assume that Uefa are not doing enough to combat racism, especially when fines are more than double the fines for racism for other misdemeanours.

Is this ethically right by Uefa? Should they be looking to educate fans and players about racism instead of handing out shamefully low fines? Or should they take a harder stance and ban these clubs from entering competitions if they are racist?

I would love to hear your views on the matter as I think it is one that needs to be addressed by Uefa as the situation is becoming farcical.

By Daniel Lifton


2 thoughts on “Uefa: Does the punishment fit the crime?

  1. Refer to this article:


    Football in todays climate is a multi billion pound enterprise, Marcus Christenson clearly outlines the issue that ethics are consistently overlooked. If anyone could advertise then UEFA couldn’t sell exclusive rights, which would be a detrimental knock to their financial muscle in the football industry.
    For UEFA this is more important than dealing with the racists in todays society. This is clearly highlighted by how vast the difference is between the fine Nicklas Bendtner received for advertising paddy power and the fine Porto received for their fans who subjected the Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli to prolonged racist abuse in the Europa League tie.

    Refer to this article:


    Another example of a racial incident and how pathetically UEFA delt with the penalty.

    The only way for FIFA and UEFA to efficiently “motivate” clubs and countries to fight this issue of racism is by suspending them from financially rewarding competitions. The repercussions for a club or country financially would be unthinkable.
    What is a £30,000 fine, when these teams earn millions for participation in these huge competitions. It is much easier for a club or country to pay a fine, which in UEFA’s case is constantly minute, than fight the serious problem which results in no positive change. If such threats of elimination were threatened that would most definitely influence the sustainability of a club or country, change would be inevitable.

  2. The issues you have raised are definitely of a similar view to mine. Fining clubs and players thousands of pounds is an irrelevant sum of money to a person or corporation who earns millions of pounds a year. The money from these fines could be well spent on educating fans instead. And if the problem persists then as we have both mentioned, tougher sanctions should be implemented.

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