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More protection for footballers?


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Ok so we all know footballers are extremely highly paid (especiallly top tier footballers). Some of us will feel they are well overpaid and their talent does not desrve the money they get paid. Some behave atrociously and send out the wrong messages to the youngsters who idolise them. However, at the end of the day they are human beings just like you and me.

Increasingly players are becoming victims of a torrent of abuse from fans and spectators. This started in the form of verbal abuse. Probably the worst most of us would feel would be the racist abuse players were subject to in the 70s and 80s which thankfully has reduced significantly but remains in the game today unfortunately. However, equally disturbing for some players is abuse questioning players manhood, insults towards family members, religious insults etc. Even swearing is a form of abuse which some of us forget in the heat of the moment (as do players y the way :D ).

But recently, the increase in physical abuse and 'attacks' in my opinion is unacceptable. This started as throwing of objects such as coins. Likely to hurt a bit (especially as this is unexpected) but unlikely to do any lasting damage unless hit in the eye. But, with time the objects have become bigger, heavier and more dangerous. Recent objects include cigarette lighters, mobile phones, bottles of liquid and even metal poles on occasion. Add to this the laser lights fans are bringing in which could potential cause at least temporary blindness, then is the abuse becoming too dangerous? Several players (mainly goalkeepers have been hurt recently and this has culminated in the Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper (Armando) being hit by a bottle which led to him needing stitches and being carried off.

At the end of the day footballers are also human beings, albeit a lot better paid and famous than us. Surely something has to be done to protect the players more. How long will it be before a player is physically attacked by a fan? What can be done to protect the players from this? Can any of the abuse above be justified?

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Guest Sooty's Football Brain

Re: More protection for footballers?

Take out the throwing of object's, and the physical abuse and I think player's have to take the rest. They are payed thousands and thousands of pounds to take the abuse and so shouldn't react Cantona style. I feel if you choose a life in football you give up your private life and you become subject to abuse, this is of your own accord. If you can't hack this as a footballer you shouldn't be in the game. It's part and parcel whether your playing badly it's from your own fans, or well its from the away fans. Or both in Titus Bramble's case. I'm not sure what you can do about objects. I don't like letting my fizzy drink go flat when my bottle lid is taken off me at Villa but it has to be done to stop the idiots. It is only a minority and will only seriously occur a number of times a season. Surely just ban the idiot's who do it and it's job done, what else can you do without ruining the even tof going to support your team for the rest of us?

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Re: More protection for footballers?

I agree with most of what you've said. Footballers are aware of the lifestyle when they enter the sport. Indeed most crave the lifestyle of the rich and famous and as you say they cannot have their cake and eat it. Their every move will be scrutinised by the media (especially the more successful they are) and private lives are non-existent. Some of them behave in a way which will more likely lead to abuse from opposition/home fans both on and off the pitch. However there are a number of professionals out there who shun the limelight and are just hoping to earn an honest living in something they are best suited to do. Surely such players do not deserve the abuse they get.

The other sad thing is that the physical abuse is on the increase. Perhaps less so in this country but worldwide incidents are being reported every week. My fear is that it is escalating and the authorities/powers-that-be are not really recognising this. The last thing we want is for players to get seriously hurt before something is done. Or worse still, a player to lose his life in a similar way to Andres Escobar did after scoring an unfortunate own goal in the 1994 World Cup (may he rest in peace).

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Guest Sooty's Football Brain

Re: More protection for footballers?

The same applies for those who just want to get on with the game. I realise now that if I want to play the game professionally I am going to have to take that abuse. the rewards for you are when you get home you have a big house with the rest of the luxuries and the person hurling the abuse is most probably jealous and on the dole. Like I said the verbal abuse should be tolerated and I completely agree with you on the physical side. Time and time again in Italy or elsewhere there are incidents like those you have mentioned and I do feel they may be getting out of hand. though what I don't think is that those problems will escalate here because I think we can deal with it with security etc and our fans prefer to have a good old verbal rant when running down to the tunnel after the game than throw something at them and get banned for life

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Re: More protection for footballers?

Ok so we all know footballers are extremely highly paid (especiallly top tier footballers). Some of us will feel they are well overpaid and their talent does not desrve the money they get paid. Some behave atrociously and send out the wrong messages to the youngsters who idolise them. However' date=' at the end of the day they are human beings just like you and me.

Increasingly players are becoming victims of a torrent of abuse from fans and spectators. This started in the form of verbal abuse. Probably the worst most of us would feel would be the racist abuse players were subject to in the 70s and 80s which thankfully has reduced significantly but remains in the game today unfortunately. However, equally disturbing for some players is abuse questioning players manhood, insults towards family members, religious insults etc. Even swearing is a form of abuse which some of us forget in the heat of the moment (as do players y the way :D ).

But recently, the increase in physical abuse and 'attacks' in my opinion is unacceptable. This started as throwing of objects such as coins. Likely to hurt a bit (especially as this is unexpected) but unlikely to do any lasting damage unless hit in the eye. But, with time the objects have become bigger, heavier and more dangerous. Recent objects include cigarette lighters, mobile phones, bottles of liquid and even metal poles on occasion. Add to this the laser lights fans are bringing in which could potential cause at least temporary blindness, then is the abuse becoming too dangerous? Several players (mainly goalkeepers have been hurt recently and this has culminated in the Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper (Armando) being hit by a bottle which led to him needing stitches and being carried off.

At the end of the day footballers are also human beings, albeit a lot better paid and famous than us. Surely something has to be done to protect the players more. How long will it be before a player is physically attacked by a fan? What can be done to protect the players from this? Can any of the abuse above be justified?[/quote']

Well there has to be some way to prevent thses kind of things from getting into the grounds...

If anyone has been to Heathrow T3 departures (and I'm sure a fair few, like me, have), then you will know that there are ceratin restrictions IE bottles can't capcitate more than 100ml, and they must be in plastic bags.

There needs to be some sort of detector of certain chemical/elements which sounds as a person(s) carrying the object passes through. Under no circumstances should a spectator be allowed to enter any food or drink into the stands to prevetn things things such as bottles being thrown. Things such as coins and lasers are much harder to keep out, as tey can be hidden easily, and with the coins, a ban can't be enforced.

It is very difficult to prevent people shouting verbal abuse at players. Rangers used to get into a bit of stick for shouting abuse at the other fans, particularly at home.

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Re: More protection for footballers?

Good valid points but then I suppose fans will start to make noise about their civil liberties and rightly so. You cannot really stop people from taking a drink to games I suppose but asyou say perhaps a restriction on metal objects (there are plastic bottles after all). But then you can't stop fans taking in money to buy food, programmes and other memorabilia.

My feeling is stiffer penalties need to be imposed. I know we as fans can lose our heads at times in the heat of the moment (god knows I have often enough), but surely no-one deserves objects hurled at them, let alone uncalled for verbal abuse or phlegm! Maybe other forms of security as to e fair groundstaff cannot be expected to stop this abuse; they'll only end up getting it back themselves! But then there is the cost implication for clubs and being ccareful not to go too far the other way and become over-protective. It's a difficult one :confused:

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Guest Sooty's Football Brain

Re: More protection for footballers?

Exactly, becoming over protected would be a bad thing to happen. And god knows how long it would take to get into grounds if everyone was searched. I was at Rochdale 5 mins before kick off today and there was still a queue. Imagin if all 30 of us would have had to be searched aswell. Nightmare. At Old Trafford my dad always used to take a bag and he sits on the second tier of the North Stand and now he can't even do that. Other wise he is trying to stuff crisps and bottles in his pocket. He has been goin 48 years now and this has only been introduced. It's a decent rule but when your two tiers high at Old Trafford and your a 60 year old man! It is frustrating but we're gonna have to deal with it.

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Re: More protection for footballers?

I do not think there is a way to stop this sort of thing happening, people have less respect in this day and age, I know it is a minority of people that act stupidly and launch things onto the pitch but it his happening much more often now and in even more high profile matches.

Racist rants still happen when National teams with coloured players go to Spain...The Spanish fans always make monkey chants to players like SWP and A. Cole but you never see them doing it in club matches where Eto'o or Robinho etc. are playing. That is the aspect I hate and think that players, no , not just players, anyone does not deserve. I would love to see it stamped out. Although the Kick Racism out of Britain campaign has been great IMO.

The players are, or if not, then should be, used to the verbal abuse that they face, its part of going to a match. There is nothing better than standing in the Grange End at Cardiff and screaming at ex Swansea Jack John Hartson, when he was at West Brom "You fat B***ard". Its made even more of a laugh at the point that he scores and punches the air repeatedly in front of you. Some players love it and it makes them want to play better.

I understand that the Cantona incident was the worst case scenario but you rarely see anything that bad. The players are protected enough IMO. They live luxury lives so surely must have to put up with whatever comes their way.

Just a point, Sir Alex moaned in an interview that I saw earlier about how Ronaldo needs protection from every team he plays against as he gets fouled all of the time...Who is the most fouled player in the Prem? I was Kevin Davies of Bolton a little while ago I think, did you ever see the Bolton manager come out and say that he needs protection? Its a farce if you ask me and Ronaldo does not get any worse treatment than anyone else.

Back to topic, bu with Ronaldo again, Ferguson said about how the fans call him names and whatever but that is no different to any other player, you will get it at any club that the fans hate eg. Arsenal fans will curse and flip the bird to Man Utd players when they get the chance and I don't think it will ever change unless the pitches are surrounded by a Limo type class where you cant see out but can see in...That would be extreme....

To round up: It is unacceptable that things are thrown at players but you cant stop things being taken into grounds.

Verbal abuse will never stop.

I think that players are too overprotected from referee's when it comes to challenges ad just simple nudges.

These are my opinions...What do you think?

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Re: More protection for footballers?

No doubt some players love it and even thrive from the abuse. David Beckham and Ronaldo are just two prominent examples who have seemed to play better the more they've got the bird from the crowd. Also there are players out there who encourage abuse from their antics on and off the pitch (Robbie Savage, Lee Bowyer and Joey Barton come to mind). But imagine you're an innocent teenager coming into the game (does such a thing exist? :D ). Its your debut season and you get the call to play your deadly rivals. Suddenly you are subject to the sort of verbal abuse, taunts, spitting, etc. of the sort which you've never experienced in your life. Yes you have to get used to it, it's the world you're entering blah blah....but still pretty harsh.

Perhaps even worse when it's the home fans giving you abuse. Imagine how John Barnes felt during his england years. He was just trying his best for his country. Admittedly he seemed not to perform to the same level at which he performed for his various clubs. Yet the tirade of boos which accompanied his every touch was surely uncalled for and no doubt affected his game further. David Bedkham, even though he cam back stronger made a costly mistake in the World Cup. He certainly was not the only reason why England went out. The effagies made of him after his return were surely unnacceptable. Yes he is stronger for it now, but at the time was a youngish player coming to the fore. A weaker man (and one without the support of a great man-manager) may well have seen his career curtail.

The examples are endless. We only hear about the success stories. Who knows the number of talents lost from the game because they are unable to handle the abuse? Pehaps this is all a sad inditement of the society we live in today.

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Re: More protection for footballers?

First of all verbal abuse has gone on for yrs so i dont think you will eradicate it fully ,some fans pick up on it in there song and chants ,how do you throw a full stand of people out .

As for the throwing of objects etc ,have far more cameras installed from all angles watching the supporters ,so there is not just one panning round they cover all seat and standing areas for full duration of match ,if the fans see not one but 20 cameras facing them and picking everything up then they will think twice before throwing if they know that caught in the act means a life time ban from all football grounds .

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Guest Sooty's Football Brain

Re: More protection for footballers?

But then to know there are camera's on you for the full 90 minute's is going to cut out everything. You know everytime you put up 2 finger's to the away end it'll be on camera. Every swear word you say to every player will be on camera. You'll spend the the 15 mins beforehand if your in the away stand lookin for the camera's. It's a great idea but would it stop just too much.

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Re: More protection for footballers?

But then to know there are camera's on you for the full 90 minute's is going to cut out everything. You know everytime you put up 2 finger's to the away end it'll be on camera. Every swear word you say to every player will be on camera. You'll spend the the 15 mins beforehand if your in the away stand lookin for the camera's. It's a great idea but would it stop just too much.

Yep but while your looking at the cameras and saying " cheese " your not making racist remark or throwing lethal objects on the pitch .:)

I wouldnt think it would be for every remark ,just the ones that dont need to be there and need stamping out .:)

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Re: More protection for footballers?

First of all verbal abuse has gone on for yrs so i dont think you will eradicate it fully ' date='some fans pick up on it in there song and chants ,how do you throw a full stand of people out .

As for the throwing of objects etc ,have far more cameras installed from all angles watching the supporters ,so there is not just one panning round they cover all seat and standing areas for full duration of match ,if the fans see not one but 20 cameras facing them and picking everything up then they will think twice before throwing if they know that caught in the act means a life time ban from all football grounds .[/quote']

Yes, for sure cameras have an important part to play and indeed have already played an important part in football. With so many companies also broadcasting these matches there are enough cameras out there to deter the great majority. Yet how often do we still see police/stadium attendants still appealing for help after matches? Also will smaller clubs be able to afford the cameras, staff to monitor, relevant surveillance technology etc. Another example from the weekends game between Blackpool and Preston in the media today regarding "racist and homophobic" chanting. 9 banning orders are to be enforced following review of the evidence. But surely more than 9 were doing the chanting. Yep you can't ban all of them, the clubs would go bankrupt. But who deserves banning and who doesn't?

This brings me to another point. The lifetime bans you mention. Excellent in principle and I am sure the vast majority of clubs enforce them. But do they all? Certainly not! A local club to where I live for whom I have the privelige of providing medical services on occasion have issued several 'lifetime bans' on supporters guilty of abusive chanting. Indeed, an acquaintance of mine was given a lifetime ban for racist abuse towards an unknown player. The incident occurred around 2 years ago (I was present)! Not the first time the said person had done it either. So imagine my surprise when I bumped into him at a game 7 weeks ago. When I asked him about his lifetime ban, he replied "don't you mean 3 bans". Yep, 3 lifetime bans and still coming to games. No change of name/identity required, no camouflage or anything. Now he's not a malicious racist but gets heated and uses some highly offensive language. But just shows, at the end of a day football is a business and why would you turn away business. When is a lifetime ban a lifetime ban? Not sure.

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  • 9 months later...

Re: More protection for footballers?

I have bumped this, because on Sunday the 14th of December, I went with my dad to Wembley for a sporting event there. (£110 it cost to get in!) There were about 50K or so people going in and we were all searched when going in. Most teams atm don't have 50K people going to watch the game. So why can't this be the case in football matches on weekends? It creates more jobs and enhances the security of players and fans.

I would prefer that screen-thingy you get in airports where someone sits in front of a computer, your bag gets screened and at the same time you go under that little archway which also screens you. Anything metal, glass, sharp, flares, weapons or bottles should be prohibited in games IMO.

As for your first post Arslan about players getting physically attacked, well its already happened to an extent. In the Sweden - Denmark game during a Euro 2008 qualification game the referee was attacked by a fan and in that Celtic - AC Milan game Dida was "attacked" by a Celtic fan although Dida was rather theatrical (which is why I put attacked in inverted commas).

Overall though the security in the UK is excellent and probably the best in the continent by a considerable margin.

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