Sunday, November 07, 2004

UEFA Must Take Action Against Racist Taunts

Frenchman Thierry Henry is yet again the centre of another racist controversy. Just last month the Spain national coach, Luis Aragones, called Thierry Henry a "black shit" in a so-called "motivational comment" to one of his players during training.

This time, the Arsenal forward has been receiving "monkey" taunts from the supporters of Panathinaikos in two UEFA Champions League group stage games. This included the away fans at Highbury last Tuesday making monkey noises towards one of Europe's very best players.

After scoring a 16th minute penalty against the opponents from Greece Henry stared solemnly at the away crowd, shrugging his shoulders and holding out his arms in a quizzical manner. He was criticised for his way of "celebration" and only revealed why he behaved in that way after he defended his post-goal action to the media.

The consistent racism that Henry has had to absorb recently is unacceptable. Despite only recently having an anti-racism week in football, it appears that the higher powers -- namely the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) -- should intervene and issue statements and other punishments. That is the only way that those who fail to accept the anti-racist message are going to learn the seriousness of their behaviour.

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