FA and Chelsea follow UEFA guidelines by punishing everything more harshly than racism
The news that Ashley Cole can expect hefty punishment for abusing the FA on Twitter comes as no surprise to those who are familiar with the actions of the the footballing authorities towards incidents of racism.
Chelsea’s John Terry has still not even started his ban for racially abusing Anton Ferdinand – despite the incident now occurring (incredibly) the best part of a year ago.
Right now the FA and Chelsea seem far more concerned with making an example of Ashley Cole for pointing out (probably correctly) that the FA are a #bunchoftw*ts.
Terry is still waiting to serve a four-match ban (if anyone ever gets round to enforcing it). Luis Suarez was banned for eight matches despite technically not being found guilty of racism specifically due to cultural issues; whilst Joey Barton was handed a 12-match ban last season for fouling Manchester City players.
These actions (or lack of) are at least consistent with the stance UEFA took on racism at Euro 2012, where Nicklas Bendtner was fined more individually for publicising an unlicensed brand than nations found guilty of racist chanting amongst supporters.
Despite the FA’s pledge to play a leading role in the “Kick Racism out of Football” campaign, it is becoming abundantly clear that imaging and financial issues take top priority by some distance.
As for Chelsea, in response to Ashley Cole’s recent tweet, they sent out a strong message, “This club has a specific policy for publicity matters and a disciplinary procedure.”
It is a shame that they do not have a similar one for racism.