UEFA HAVE acted over Partizan Belgrade’s supporters who held an anti-Semitic banner during their recent Europa League game against Spurs – by fining the club £31,000 and ordering the partial closure of their stadium during their next European game. Certainly not seeming to be the most severe of punishments, UEFA say: “The fight against racism is a high priority for UEFA. The European governing body has a zero-tolerance policy towards racism and discrimination on the field and in the stands. All forms of racist behaviour are considered serious offences against the disciplinary regulations and are punished with the most severe sanctions. Following the entry into force of new disciplinary regulations in June 2013, the fight against racist conduct has been stepped up a level – resulting in stricter penalties to deter any such behaviour.” Points deduction, even expulsion from the competition would really make clubs sit up and take note. There’s a long way to go in the battle to eradicate racism from the game, if this is all the punishment clubs receive, it’s a hell of a long way.
IN THE LATEST instance of sport mixing with politics, the Sudanese Chess Association’s president has resigned and apologised to the Sudanese and Palestinian people, after a Sudanese player played a game against an Israeli. The Sudan Tribute reported how Tariq Zaroog stepped down from his position after Omar Albargdar Eltigani took on Israeli Matan Poleg at the World Youth Chess Championships in Durban, South Africa. Eltigani was told to not the play the match by the Sudanese Chess Group, but decided to nevertheless, which caused uproar in Sudan. And as if to make matters worse for him, Poleg won the match after the 45th move.