If they don’t get the message, there’s only one thing left to do
When it comes to penalties, the English are not very good at them on the pitch, but off the pitch, it’s a totally different story. Just ask Luis Suarez.
It was fitting that while young Serbian players and supporters were losing their heads at a football match, I was rubbing shoulders with some Jewish footballing greats. Barry Silkman recalled how he experienced and dealt with antisemitism in his youth. From cricket bats to fists, they used the lot. That’s one way to deal with it.
Prior to any UEFA sanctions, it appears that the UK is the only footballing nation prepared to show zero tolerance to racism and antisemitism in the game. I’ve been here before, several times in fact, and will continue to push for a no-nonsense approach when it comes to such matters. It’s the only way.
It doesn’t matter if you’re black, Jewish or Muslim, the scenes on Tuesday night were totally unacceptable and cannot be tolerated. Enough is enough.
We’ve heard of threats of teams walking off the pitch, but I don’t think that’s the answer. Why should the victims walk away when they have done nothing wrong? A points deduction for the offending team or fines won’t help either and neither will playing behind closed doors.
For me, the only way forward to throw teams like Serbia, who have previous, out of football. Ban them, for a year for starters. It’s the only way they will learn.
* I was in Amsterdam when I heard the news that Edgar Davids had joined Barnet, and, as you can imagine, was concerned that I may have inhaled some dodgy fumes from the famous city. As a long-standing Bees fan, I scoured the web to double-check as it’s not every day a figure of his stature joins the Football League’s bottom team.
On Saturday, Davids, who confirmed this week to having Jewish ancestry, was probably wishing he’d taken something to pacify his mood following the embarrassing 4-1 defeat against Plymouth Argyle.
He achieved some wonderful things in the game, but if he can keep this team up, it would be his biggest achievement in my eyes.
* There should be at least one Jewish national team manager at the 2014 World Cup finals in Rio after Jose Pekerman’s Colombia maintained their challenge with a 2-0 victory over Paraguay.
The former Argentina boss has now won four out of five matches since taking charge in June. His team has been described by the Colombian media as the greatest since the early 1990’s, with Pekerman branded 'Superman'.
* Dean Furman wasn’t surprised by Tuesday’s abandonment in the World Cup qualifier involving Poland and England in Warsaw. He played on the very same pitch for South Africa in a friendly four days earlier. Just minutes after landing in London after helping Bafana Bafana win in Kenya, he tweeted: "newly-laid pitch was already cutting up badly and we had perfect weather!"
* Temple Fortune A captain Brett Stead has been ruled out until February after breaking his foot against Faithfold B. He said: "I'm truly gutted."
* After five years in charge of UJIA, Darren Rolfe has stepped down. Ben Radstone is the favourite to replace him.