Sepp Blatter's Idea for Points Reductions to Tackle Racism: Would It Work?

Antony HerbertAnalyst IIIJanuary 16, 2013

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - JANUARY 07:  Joseph S. Blatter, FIFA President, speaks during the FIFA Ballon d'Or Gala 2013 at Congress House on January 7, 2013 in Zurich, Switzerland.  (Photo by Harold Cunningham/Getty Images)
Harold Cunningham/Getty Images

Tackling racism in football has become a staple focus in the past couple of years. Extended match bans and financial fines have been passed down to those who have acted in a racially offensive manner. 

The Euro finals of 2012 came under increased scrutiny due to the reputation of football fans in Ukraine and Poland. 

The Premier League also had attention focused on instances of racism, with players such as Luis Suarez and John Terry being accused and punished for racially insensitive comments. 

Now FA President Sepp Blatter has expressed an idea that he believes will work towards eradicating future instances. 

If players or fans are found to have been racist then points would be deducted from their respective teams. 

This is an idea that could cause major dents in league ambitions. The consequences would vary depending on the team. For some it could be the difference between promotion and relegation. For others it could be the income reduction that emerges from the loss of a place in the Champions League or Europa League. 

Imagine the impact, for example, if a team fails to qualify for the Champions League, only because one of their players or their fans have been found to be racist. 

So is this idea from Sepp Blatter a good one? Could it work in helping to stop the backwards views held by too many?

A zero tolerance policy certainly needs to be in place where any form of prejudice is found. This can include other forms of bigotry, such as homophobia and sexism.

Point deductions could compliment campaigns such as Kick It Out, in ensuring that people within the world of football are educated and work for a positive change. 

On the opposite side of the idea, could point deductions potentially become a platform for fans to try to encourage and bait rival supporters to make racial comments? It is often commented upon that football fans can have a pack like mentality. 

What is to stop a small minority of fans from setting out to lose a rival team points if they know it will further enhance the aspirations of their own team?

It is in this respect that the handling and set up of such an idea would become mightily important. If point deductions were to be the way forward, then structured and strict investigations would need to take place before any action would be taken. 

An introduction of some sort would also be required, where fans and players are made aware of the repercussions that such behaviour could have. 

If it is made clear that any point deductions will emerge from properly investigated claims, then there will be validity and concrete backing to the aim of the idea. Fans will be aware of how costly their behaviour could become. 

Whilst it may be a shame to see a team win a title through another team's point deduction, the threat of the possibility should be enough to discourage it from becoming a reality.