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Anorak | Rio Ferdinand bonfire chant: thought police want Fifa to punish England fans

Rio Ferdinand bonfire chant: thought police want Fifa to punish England fans

by | 29th, March 2013

Soccer - World Cup Mexico 1986 - Group F - England v Portugal - Tecnologico Stadium

“RIO RACE TAUNTS”, is the Daily Mail’s lead sports story. The paper says England have been reported to FiFa for “alleged racist” chants direted at Manchester United’s Rio Ferdinand and his younger bother Anton. What did these scumbag England fans say?

Fines could be imposed after Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) flagged up to world football’s governing body the vile songs which suggested the pair be burned.

Cripes! What did they say? Can it be repeated in a family newspaper?

The chant was: ‘Build a bonfire, build a bonfire, put Rio on the top, put Anton in the middle, then burn the f****** lot.’

And the racist bit? Rio and Anton aren’t Catholics, are they? What did the fans say. That, readers, is the allegedly racist bit. The tabloids might go with “Sick death threats”. But racism is always the trump card.

FARE supremo Piara Powar explains:

“One of the things we want to underline straight off is that sometimes racism doesn’t only take the form of monkey chants or bananas being thrown. Sometimes there are things that are more subtle at play. I think there is an undercurrent of race there. Other people have thought it has been imbued with racist overtones, We have duty to report things that are said…”

This is of course, unwitting racism, a phenomenon Lord Macpherson identified it in the aftermath of Stephen Lawrence’s murder. You can be guilty of racism is someone took offence. If you’re ignorant and thoughtlessness you can be an unwitting racist. Not exactly the classic definition of racism is it. The England fans’ song was pleasant. It’s ugly. But it wasn’t racist.

Photo: Oh, Brave New World… Soccer – World Cup Mexico 1986 – Group F – England v Portugal – Tecnologico Stadium.

 



Posted: 29th, March 2013 | In: Sports Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink