It seems radical, and at the moment extremely hypothetical but without pre-empting defending myself too early this doesn’t seem like such a ludicrous idea to me.
Firstly I want to preface what I am saying with an admission on the subject of Serbia. I have been there, taking in the sights of Belgrade and at no point did I feel anything but welcome in an increasingly metropolitan city complete with riverboat nightclubs, smiling faces on late-night buses and a general sense of well-being; so let’s not allow this as an excuse toward a xenophobic attitude as that ignorance would make us no better
The violent abuse and apparent racial taunting that occurred in Krusevac is still the acts of a minority and the defence by the Serbian FA and government seems an extremely ill-judged piece of political patter.
However, continuing on my line of hypothetical reality, using all the nuance of innocent till proven guilty I can stomach to muster ‘if’ charges of racist abuse are proven and ‘if’ UEFA hand out a paltry punishment is there a way in which a real sign of universal belief can be shown.
One potential route that could be taken seems extreme but it could certainly work.
Could black footballers boycott UEFA competitions?
Of course there is an argument that this let’s ‘them’ win, whomever ‘they’ are but it also would show a complete unity across the board from the black footballing community that such continued pathetic sanctions will not be tolerated.
The likes of Rio Ferdinand, Yaya Toure and Daniel Alves could stand in unison and not play in the Champions League. Yes it would have a potentially detrimental effect on the results; but what message does it show if after being appalled at a potentially poor decision by UEFA that then many black players stand under the UEFA banner while the choral chant of the adaptation to Handel’s Zadok the Priest blares out over the tannoy and is beamed around the world. Tackling a dark-aged abhorrence should come before the result of a football match, surely?
However line-ups competing entirely of white players would be a shocking tactic. To see the lack of diversity caused by UEFA’s actions would bring complete shame on the organisation who would have to act to the save their rapidly sullying name.
UEFA’s motto is ‘We care about football’, it is now time to prove they care about more than just the game.
It is simply an idea and I am far from an expert on the matter but what do our readers think …
… could black footballers boycott UEFA competition?
image: © El Ronzo