Date:Friday October 27 2006
Following Benni McCarthy's allegations that he was racially abused during Blackburn Rovers' astounding 2-1 UEFA Cup victory over Wisla Krakow last Thursday, Wisla defender Nikola Mijailovic has now been found guilty by UEFA and as a consequence will serve a five match ban.
Rovers' UEFA Cup triumph over the Polish outfit should have seen us cracking open the bubbly and indulging in celebration, but unfortunately the night was to be eclipsed by McCarthy becoming victim to the much loathed, yet familiar racial abuse.
The UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body investigated these allegations after the Football Association's request, and they were quick to act and find Mijailovic guilty as charged. The 24-year old will now be merely a spectator for their next five UEFA Cup matches.
It would be interesting to find out how UEFA conducted this investigation and how they found him to be guilty, whether it be other players hearing the racial slurs, lip readers being used etc. But it is good to see that racist allegations are taken seriously and dealt with as priority, high importance and quickness, as rightly they should.
This could be considered a step forward and Mijailovic should no doubt be used as an example to try and discourage racism not only by the so-called fans, but also the players.
Mijailovic does have until Monday to appeal the verdict and no doubt he will, but I am sure his denial will fall upon death ears and hopefully be that of a lost cause. The lesson to be learnt here is there is no place for racism in any shape or form in football or otherwise.
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Date:Friday October 27 2006
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