With the 2014 Football World Cup in full swing and the eyes of the world focused upon Brazil, it would appear that in other corners of the the globe the beautiful game is less than beautiful.
Take Ireland for example. The Emerald Isle was the setting of a recent football incident which could have benefitted enormously from the timely intervention of a FIFA busy body devoted to fair-play and the incessant stamping out of all racism in sport.
Instead, what the team of U15 football lads, who decided to make a stand against racism got, was a £200 fine for their troubles. Sounds crazy doesn’t it? It gets worse.
Carrigaline United U15s were playing in a crucial Cork Schoolboys League match when one of their players was victim of what the Irish Examiner described as “a tirade of verbal racist abuse” from one of the players on the other team.
Quite naturally, the player subjected to the abuse and all his team mates were hugely disturbed by the incident.
As the referee had not taken any action, come half-time Carrigaline manager Mark McCarthy decided to take matters into his own hands.
McCarthy refused to allow his players back onto the pitch for the second-half out of principle, but it would seem that principles don’t count for much when it comes to the league’s disciplinary panel.
They hauled McCarthy in and instead of applauding him and his team’s stand against racism they issued him with a whooping fine.
Why? Because the panel felt that as Carrigaline were trailing 1-0 at half-time in a match they needed to win to avoid relegation, the racism complaint wasn’t valid.
Wether they felt McCarthy and his team were simply playing the racism card to get out of a game that was going against them and exploit the opportunity to demand a re-match is debatable.
One thing’s for sure, McCarthy is having none of it and told the Examiner:
“I know things are said on the field of play, but you have to take a stand. We are a multicultural society and our sports clubs and teams reflect that. We feel we are being punished for taking a stand. These are only kids who want to play a game and we think the league is hiding behind the rule book here.”
Depressingly, this is not the first time during the season that the Carrigaline player in question has been subject to racist abuse. He has been up before the league’s disciplinary committee before to give evidence but felt the outcome was worthless.
“He felt it was a waste of time. He’s been subjected to this kind of thing twice. The second time, I had to make a stand.”