By Tony Alvarez
Yesterday Scottish giants Glasgow Celtic were fined £12,700 by Uefa after a report from Strathclyde Police about the fan singing “some offensive songs” during the clubs Europa League tie againstRennesin November.
I am not sure if I agree with this decision and think Uefa have opened a huge can of worms and should the governing body promote equality then pretty much every team should be fined in the near future.
I cant say I am pro offensive chanting and don’t know what the chants were that the Celtic fans were singing however I will be the first to admit that I have often joined in chants that would be of offence to some people and any Football fan that says they haven’t is almost certainly lying.
Of course there are different severities of offensive chanting but by Uefa just saying the fine is for offensive chanting they are opening up the situation for fines to be handed out to almost every side.
Celtic do have a bit of a history of complaints against sections of their support for offensive chanting, during the sides defeat to Hearts earlier in the season the club were apparently inundated with complaints from their own fans about chants from other sections of the Celtic support.
As the above was not mentioned to Uefa it cannot by that the fine the club were handed yesterday was due to it being a second offence for the club.
Celtic’s greatest rivals Rangers were fined in the past for a very similar offence and both clubs can feel hard done by, if the chants were really off key then the severity of the fine should reflect that and so should the title of the punishment.
12,700 is a slap on the wrist when you consider the funds that these clubs bring in on a weekly basis, a slap on the wrist punishment would suggest a minor crime however if these chants were as distasteful as being reported then the punishment should reflect that.
Just to make it clear that the suggestion is the chants were pro IRA which I am by no means condoning I just feel Uefa could of made things clearer with both the punishment and the name of the offence.
It is a bit harsh on the club as by all accounts they are doing all they can to cut out the chants and remove the individuals or the section that were singing them, however once Uefa decide to punish they should punish with the severity that the crime deserves.
What are your thoughts? Does the punishment match the crime? How should Uefa of dealt with the crime? How can unacceptable or offensive chanting be cut out of the game?
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