Virgil Levy on racism in football
Maccabi League footballer Virgil Levy was on the receiving end of racial abuse a couple of years ago. Here is his take on Sepp Blatter's comments.
"The event did cross my mind and has since that ugly day back in South Oxhey. As for comments, I can only look at the facts and my personal experience. Consequently, education is not relevant in terms of kicking out racism in football. Sepp Blatter is an adult and head of the World Governing body for Football.
"‘More widely’ every single football player old enough to use slanderous gestures and comments should not only be fined and reprimanded, but should be made an example out of. They should be excluded and for life. If that is too strenuous then a ‘two-strikes and you are out’ approach should be adopted.
"Every guilty player must not be allowed to make any half admission and still get away with what is essentially a criminal offence. I know what happened my incident, which was of course documented and somewhat badly I must say. In essence, if I saw the players again I probably would not be so diplomatic. The FA showed no interest in it whatsoever in my case and I gather the guilty parties still remain free to play football. No fines were paid.
"In all instances, past and present, it remains obvious that racism exists in football, from the grass roots, the playground through to top flight football. There is a culture of sweeping things like this under the carpet and Mr Blatter should really resign or be sacked. In any case FIFA has lost its respect in relation to its general incompetence and corruptibility. A disreputable organisation for a sport that is looked upon by so many millions of underprivileged viewers. I doubt even his African supporters would believe that Mr Blatter would think such a statement let alone publicly reveal it. He said it and is guilty of stupidity.
"The recent cases coming out show the clear evidence for any lip reader would give evidence in Court. Similarly, there are witnesses and some of those witnesses are players themselves. It’s harder to admit their guilt, but it seems even harder for anyone to do anything about their guilt.
"British corporations excluded Richard Kays, Ron Atkinson and Andy Gray in respect of their behaviour. I refer to Zidane’s reaction to Materazzi, though not perhaps racist but instead intended to cause injurious and an harmful effect on another football player. Blatter believes people should then shake hands after another player does that?
I wonder what would happen if all racist comments and insulting slurs were used outside of football ... probably many broken jaws and sadly even death, as we all know. The responsiblity of the man is endless and therefore he and FIFA should be shut down.
"If exclusion is the only real way to improve football and encourage all races to pull in a positive direction, then so be it. There would be protection for those who are not able to take the rough treatment of abusive players.
"I am not sure if you have ever experienced racism in terms of being white and British, but any kind of racial abuse is intolerable; and if the authorities do not stamp it out, then the abused will take the law into their own hands."