Belfast Telegraph

Biting Back: With great power comes great responsibility

By Stuart McKinley

Whatever position you're in you want to believe that those in charge know what they're doing.

Be it a government, a court of law, a sporting body or anyone else in authority, you want to be able to trust that they will do the right thing.

Neither trust or respect are given automatically though; they are gained by acting in the right way and making the right decisions.

That is why Uefa - European football's governing body - continually frustrates.

You can't help but think that they make up the rules as they go along.

Take CSKA Moscow, for example. They were punished for racist behaviour from fans at a Champions League match against Roma in September with a £155,000 fine and were ordered to play their next three European games behind closed doors.

When a couple of hundred fans gained entry to the stadium for their match against Manchester City a fortnight ago, Uefa swept it under the carpet and on appeal CSKA had their fine halved and the behind closed doors sanction reduced to just two games.

It's little wonder then that the Albania FA is angry. They were fined £80,000 and had their Euro 2016 qualifier last month awarded to Serbia 3-0.

This was after their players were attacked ON the pitch in Belgrade AND as they tried to escape up the tunnel to the safety of the dressing room.

Apparently their biggest crime was refusing to finish the game. With their lives in danger from a baying, hostile crowd what were they supposed to do?

It's hardly surprising that the Albanians are appealing the decision and what Uefa do now is crucial if they are to emerge with any integrity.

Belfast Telegraph


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