Good news. UEFA has finally decided to stop dragging its feet on racist abuse from the terraces. Yes, initially there were mutterings about how it was hard to tell whether a player was being racially abused: a banana thrown at a player could actually be to encourage him to take on extra potassium to help with those runs down the wing; what sounded like monkey chants could be gasps of admiration: "Oooh! Oooh! Boooohtiful run! Ooooh!!".
Their first steps at dealing with the problem have been hesitant. In retrospect it was maybe a mistake to take FIFA boss Sepp Blatter's suggestion about racist abuse amongst players - that it should be dealt with by a friendly handshake after the match - and apply it to spectators. This meant that in some countries black players had to stay behind after a game for up to three hours to shake hands with every opposition fan who'd racially abused them. Even when the Euros started, UEFA president Michel Platini was still saying it was up to referees to decide whether racist abuse was taking place. But why rely just on referees in this day and age? Haven't they got enough on their plate? That's why I'm glad to hear that UEFA have finally decided to look at introducing foulmouth technology.
Already trialled in minor pub leagues and Friday night bar-fights in Newcastle, foulmouth technology allows you to detect whether abuse is racist or not. By installing a series of tiny cameras around every fan's mouth, UEFA will be able to tell whether what a fan said was acceptable or whether it crossed the line. There are even plans to install it on players. This would instantly clarify whether Rio Ferdinand can be picked or not.
Some might think it would be easier to just end racist abuse by imposing point deductions or bans on any club or national team whose fans racially abuse players, but UEFA reckons foulmouth technology will be a lot more fun. UEFA expect the technology to be ready for use by 2098.
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