Tackling the Kick It Out campaign


This week has seen top football club manager Martin O'Neil defend England and Sunderland's young full back Danny Rose from criticism leveled at him by Serbia's officialdom after his sending off in Warsaw. John Terry began his ban for the racial abuse of Anton Ferdinand. While more than 30 players including the outspoken Jason Roberts of Reading and Rio Ferdinand of Manchester United, have refused to support the Kick It Out campaign; much to the ire of Sir Alex Ferguson.

Strangely, the very rejection of the campaign by some has brought massive publicity to the movement. All are united against racism yet the zero tolerance policy purportedly held by the FA has not been implemented with the rigor it needs to be according to Ferdinand and Roberts. Are they wrong? Is a more radical approach needed? 

UEFA's recent failures to address racism in Eastern Europe and Spain are one thing, but the FA has the power to implement an absolute policy. The Premier League, nurtured by the FA, is a brand leader in the world football market. Let the FA provide the gold standard of player and fan behaviour aswell.

Punishment must hit the super clubs where it hurts, not in wages but in the playing time of offenders After all John Terry's fine set him back little more than 2 weeks wages factoring in sponsorship deals and total earnings. Is a four match ban really anything more than a gentle slap on the wrists and a good rest for England's ex-captain? Zero tolerance must mean zero tolerance. A seasons’ ban for the Chelsea talisman would have given the right message.

 Reconciliation needs to occur between Kick It Out campaigners and "the sheep," to use Sir Alex's words, who refuse to support it.  This will only happen when the FA demands a code of conduct from its players and affiliates that at the moment still gives too much leniency to the 'talismans' of the game like Terry.