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Word Count: 536
Racism rears its ugly head If anyone believed racism in football was the shameful preserve of bygone era recent events have proved it remains an all too prevalent issue And it is Uefa European footballs governing body which has borne the brunt of the criticism over its failure to sufficiently punish guilty clubs and countries The treatment of Emile Heskey and Ashley Cole during Englands game against Slovakia on Saturday merely highlighted what has already been a season tarnished by racist abuse across Europe French striker Thierry Henry was subjected to taunts and missile throwing while playing for Arsenal at PSV Eindhoven Players from Liverpool Fulham Blackburn and Ipswich complained of suffering racist abuse during their European matches at Valencia Hadjuk Split Sartid and CSKA Sofia respectively Slovakia fans directed monkey chants towards Heskey and Cole every time they touched the ball during Englands 2-1 win on Saturday Former England captain Terry Butcher described the scenes in Bratislava as disgusting But Uefas handling of the PSV case - and reports that Slovakias fans are unlikely to be banned from attending the corresponding fixture in England - has left many observers wondering just what punishment they will hand out if any PSV escaped with a fine of 13000 while the disciplinary committee could find no conclusive evidence regarding the cases of Valencia and Hadjuk Split Paul Newman the English Football Associations head of communications has called on Uefa to introduce tougher penalties We have protested in the strongest possible terms to Uefa said Newman Uefa has just launched a campaign against racism and it needs to increase the penalties if it wants it to be effective Newman is not alone in urging Uefa to introduce more severe punishment Many urge Uefa to use its powers to either suspend clubs from competition deduct points from repeat offenders or ban
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