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UEFA May Take The Titanic Approach To Games Held 'Behind Closed Doors'

Paul O'Hara
By Paul O'Hara
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It has been reported today that UEFA are considering allowing women and children into games which otherwise would have been played without spectators as a punishment for previous racist abuse, apparently because only big, scary men can ever be racist.


Speaking after Manchester City's frustrating 2-2 draw away to CSKA Moscow last night, blues skipper Vincent Kompany made the reasonable point that it was "unacceptable" that UEFA allowed a few hundred CSKA supporters into the Arena Khimki, despite previously ruling that the match was closed to all fans as punishment for racist chanting at a European tie earlier this year. The ban also applied to Manchester City fans. Kompany felt the partial relaxation of the supporter ban was more of a punishment to City than the Russian club.

So far Turkey is the only country where some games are open to women and children only as a punishment for the misbehaviour of supporters. The policy was introduced in 2011 in an attempt to tackle racism without having to play matches in an empty stadium.

To be fair, the sentiment has some merit but its introduction would surely spark intense debate across the footballing world. UEFA's Chief of Press Pedro Pinto said:

The president is always looking at ways we could improve our rules and regulations.

Just yesterday we discussed the possibility of inviting women and children for free instead of closing the stadium completely.

It was done in Turkey a few years ago and it had a really positive effect on football. It is an idea for possible sanctions in order to avoid empty stadiums.

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