After the Italian FA (The FIGC) announced on Monday that Juventus would be fined just €4,000 for ‘”directing insulting chants to a player of another club,” Adam Digby calls on the club to take a more hardline stance. Tired of seeing Serie A pay mere lip service to the racism issue, is it time for the Bianconeri to set a precedent and make an example of the guilty parties?
By now you’ve seen and heard it, and we will not show it here. Sunday afternoon at Juventus Stadium saw a number of racist chants directed at Mario Balotelli. Yes, on a day when the Milan striker was not actually playing football anywhere, let alone in Turin, a section of the club’s fans chose to sing songs about the colour of the man’s skin for nothing more than their own amusement.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, Monday saw a video uploaded to YouTube of those same fans. Filmed as players were introduced to the crowd, it contains yet more clearly audible racial slurs including a reference to a banana as Paul Pogba’s name is read out and Kwadwo Asamoah being labelled ‘a piece of shit.’ Other players such as Andrea Pirlo and Sebastian Giovinco are also insulted but frankly that is merely the norm at football these days and is not the issue.
What truly needs to happen now is for Juventus – so often the leader when it comes to tackling issues in Italian football – to once again demonstrate how a club should act when faced with such problems. The club has been fined numerous times in recent years, and has always had the punishment reduced because of its willingness to work with police and the authorities in order to eradicate such elements from the stadium.
Now, however, the issue has gone too far.
No player, no matter who he plays for, or how he acts at Juventus Stadium, deserves to suffer racial abuse. None. There is no excuse. As a regular at the stadium, I am today – for the first time ever – embarrassed to be a Juventino. I am ashamed at the behaviour of my fellow fans, whose conduct I will not excuse or cheapen by referring to them in quotation marks or by questioning their fandom.
These people are Juventus fans, they love the club as we all do but now is time for Juventus themselves to draw a line in the sand, and do that on our behalf. Indulge in racist chanting or even just shouting insults? Then you are no longer welcome. Do not come to the Stadium, do not associate yourself with the club. Revoke their privileges, remove their platform and deny them the right to support OUR club.
At a time when the club is dominating Serie A, and has secured a place in the last eight of the Champions League, these people do not represent me, you or Juventus. It is time for it to stop, time for the club to show us the famous ‘lo Stile’ still exists.
Please Juventus, make us proud once again to be Juventini.
If you agree that racism has no place at Juventus Stadium then please take time to sign this e-Petition