Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Hughton angered by racist abuse

Chris Hughton believes the football authorities should take stronger action to deter racism, particularly within the wider European game

Norwich manager Chris Hughton is "disappointed, sad and angry" he and others still have to face up to racism in the modern game.

The Norfolk club has vowed to ban for life any fan found guilty of racism after Hughton was the target of online abuse for the second time this season when supporters reported an offensive comment on an unofficial Facebook page.

Police are currently investigating the matter, which follows a similar incident when a comment was left on a social networking forum, which has been treated as a hate crime.

UEFA, meanwhile, has on Thursday afternoon charged CSKA Moscow with "racist behaviour of their fans" after Manchester City's Yaya Toure complained of monkey chants against him during the Champions League match in Moscow. The Russian club have denied any racist abuse took place during Wednesday night's match, but will face a disciplinary hearing next week.

Hughton, who is the only black manager in the Barclays Premier League, admitted the continuing instances were uncomfortable.

"Regards my own situation I am disappointed, sad and angry, it is all of those emotions," Hughton said at a press conference ahead of Saturday's match against Cardiff.

"It is not something that I should have to deal with, but it is something I am having to deal with.

"It is in the hands of the appropriate authorities and I am quite sure the correct action will be taken."

Hughton believes the football authorities should take stronger action to deter such instances, particularly within the wider European game.

"What they need to do is put themselves in a position as the ones who are being targeted and it is not a nice situation not to be in, let me tell you," said Hughton, a former defender for Tottenham and the Republic of Ireland.

"I think most of the penalties these days seem to be fines. Fines are easily paid by the bigger clubs. Do we need harsher penalties? Yes, we do, absolutely.

"The only way you will see an about turn and improvement is when you have harsher penalties.

"It was a big Champions League game so UEFA have a real opportunity to do something. I think the punishments have to be a lot sterner, something that hurts a little bit more."

Hughton does not feel players walking off the field in protest is the answer.

"I think it is very unfair to put it down to individuals. They face the brunt of the abuse," he said.

"Everybody reacts in different ways but it shouldn't be their responsibility.

"It should be the authorities, particularly when it is as vocal as it has been like on Wednesday night.

"There was no question about that and it shouldn't be left to anyone but the authorities."

Norwich head into Saturday's home clash against Cardiff in the bottom three following the 4-1 defeat at leaders Arsenal, which was a fifth defeat in eight league games.

Striker Rickie van Wolfswinkel is "touch and go" for a return from a foot problem, but Sweden international Johan Elmander should be available after his thigh injury from international duty.

Hughton accepts Norwich have to start converting positive displays into points on the board.

"We all know it is a results business, but if we keep playing as we are, we will be OK," he said.

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