Johnny Evans and Papiss Cisse could both face six match bans – or longer – for their alleged spitting at each other during Manchester United’s 1-0 win over Newcastle.
But looking back on it, both players must now wish they’d just exchanged racial slurs if they are indeed charged.
Why? Because FIFA would ban you for a lesser amount of time. You heard that right. FIFA believes the act of spitting on the pitch is an even graver offence than a player racially abusing another.
Let a projectile of spittle fly from your mouth and we won’t see you at least for six games but racism, and you’ll be back in five.
It’s hardly a surprise given FIFA’s history on this issue.
However, lets give them credit, it’s not like they do nothing entirely. The No To Racism campaign is admirable to the extent that it’s a campaign which involves players from multiple ethnicities and creeds trying to send the message home to their fans that football is a multicultural game for all to enjoy.
But look at FIFA’s actual response to racism in the both extended and recent past and you’d see an issue that has gone unchecked or vetted in so long that, like a wound, it has festered and not even FIFA’s billions can be used to paste over the cracks it has brought in the game. There needs to be major surgery.
That FIFA even acts like it takes racism seriously to begin with is a hilarious concept, if the repercussions of such a lackadaisical approach weren’t so horrifying.
Just consider the amount of vile chants that have been heard throughout Europe, South America and other continents and countries on a seasonal basis. The monkey chants. The death threats. The deplorable behaviour.
But just look at the response of FIFA and its governing bodies.
Just last year UEFA handed out a meagre €10,000 penalty out to Atletico Madrid when their fans racially abused a Man City youth player.
A £16,700 charge was handed out to Porto after fans’ prolonged racial abuse in a Europa League tie toward Mario Balotelli when playing for Manchester City.
Ludicrous ‘penalties’ for guilty clubs and fans that are particularly galling when you look at comparitive fines for what are minor infractions.
In that same match with Porto, City were actually fined more, £24, 740, for returning to the field of play just one minute later.
Similarily, in October 2012, UEFA punished Danish striker Nicklas Bendtner with a €100,000 fine after wearing branded underwear with the mark of the betting company PaddyPower.
Indeed it’s quite laughable to hear people like Blatter condemn racism until the cows come home to just ignore the fact that it’s their incredibly lenient policies that allow it to go unchecked.
Speaking of the FIFA president, he may have announced yesterday that South American Football associations had to take the charge of fans being racist more seriously which could include points deductions and relegation for repeat offenders.
But one point; the year is 2015, an incredible amount of time too late.
And two it will actually be intriguing to see if he does follow through on such promises if he retains his FIFA presidency or this is all just kowtowing the line until election day.
That Evans and Cisse could theoretically get a lesser punishment than their alleged spitting if they had merely resorted to a slanging match of racial slurs says all you need to know about the outdated, elderly, not-fit-for-purpose, morally bankrupt and deplorable organisation that is FIFA and their associated bodies.