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Football jeopardy?

By Mark Burke



John Terry has resigned from International football, feeling he could not play for an organisation that is intent on retrying him when he has been cleared in a court of law. Double jeopardy not a concept that applies in these cases apparently.

I speak as an ex player who has been racially abused in the past and grew up in England in the 70's and 80's and saw things that are absolutely unthinkable in today's society. 

I remember being at Aston Villa when we played a game at a ground in the North and that particular club having to send a letter of apology to Villa for their crowds behaviour towards our black players.

So I have seen and experienced  the bad things that happened in football and let's be honest STILL happen in football. 

The game mirrors society and just because these things are no longer acceptable it does not mean people no longer think a certain way and don't still harbour these thoughts. It's just that now they dont dare to say them.

If John Terry did say what he is support to have said then it's not great but the FA is now bending over backwards to prove that, we don't stand for this we are an equal opportunities employer and we will not tolerate prejudice of any kind and we ate very keen to show it.

All they have done is made things a million times worse. 

The piece below took me ten minutes to wrote this piece exactly the length of time it would have taken to sit these two players down and sort it out.

Instead some bright spark at the FA has decided to drag it out over a period of about eight months (?) bringing only more adverse publicity for all involved.

English club football really is the envy of the world both in it's celebration of the game through it's premier league and it's unique atmosphere but also in it's tackling of these issues that in other countries are ignored (because 'oh well that's what they are like') and swept under the carpet.

Dont let's ruin this by drawn out legal processes that have nothing to do with the game and which only really benefit the lawyers.

Like a crowded penalty area at a corner, these are very difficult things to pick out, identify and punish.

If we are not careful we will create an environment where  legal challenges become the norm and the game becomes paralysed with fear and players line up in the tunnel for a game with sellotaped mouths, just to be sure.

"Right then John, stop looking at the floor and sit over there", Anton, stop looking at the ceiling and sit there and stop fidgeting"

"Right then Anton, you first, what happened? "Well sir, John bumped into me and called me a Black B%#€$*d".

"That's  not true sir!! 

"John! Quiet you will get your turn"

"Anton, carry on"

"Well, that's it really sir. I pushed him and he pushed me and then we were pulled apart"

"Ok then, John, you tell me what happened? Is this true?"

"Well sir, we pushed each other a bit and I shouted something at Anton, I was really angry sir"

What did you shout ? Was it Black B<>€*#d?

I don't know sir, can't remember sir. Honest Sir"

"Right then, I think I know what's happened here. You two are always playing football and getting carried away and now you've gone too far. Anton if John says sorry is that ok with you?" 

"Suppose so Sir"

"John will you apologise to Anton? 

"But Sir," 

"John!! 

"Yes sir"

"Ok then, John you will be suspended for two school games just so you can have a think
about your actions" we don't judge people by the colour of their skin do we? 

No Sir

We don't judge people at all  do we?

No sir

Why not ?

Because we are all the same really Sir.

Now apologise to Anton,

"But Sir!!"

"John!! 

"Ok Sir, sorry Anton"

"Now shake hands, say sorry and get out so I can get in with some real work"

Anton: "Ok John, do you want to play after school?"

"Yeah ok, great"

"I've got the latest 'Combat Warfare shooting people indiscriminately but if you get shot you can start again straight away III'

"Brilliant see you in a bit Anton"

If only it was that easy? Or is it? Mmm?