Incidences of racism in football have been common in the recent past, especially in the highly popular English Premier League (EPL).
Two high profile cases of racism have made world headlines in the last two months. First, Luis Suárez of Liverpool was suspended for eight matches and fined almost a week’s wages last month after being found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra on October 15 in a game that ended in a 1-1 tie at Liverpool’s Anfield Stadium.
The FA in suspending the Uruguayan said charges of misconduct against him had been proven.
The association said in a statement on its website that the Uruguay international, had "used insulting words towards Evra during the match" that included a reference to Evra’s colour.
Another high profile case involved Chelsea and former England captain John Terry, who was accused of racially abusing an opponent Anton Ferdinand during a Premier League match in October.
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Reports say the former England captain will stand for trial in July after he denied the offence. The trial, which could last up to five days, will take place after the Euro 2012.
In December, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) ordered Terry to be prosecuted for a "racially aggravated public order offence" over comments allegedly made to Anton Ferdinand in an on-field exchange during Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat by Queens Park Rangers.
The CPS took action after video of the incident was posted on the Internet and a member of the public complained that Terry allegedly used racist language when speaking to Ferdinand.
Terry could be fined up to Sh323,700 if convicted, which is only a fraction of his weekly wage. However, such a verdict could have an impact on his lucrative sponsorship deals and relationship with Chelsea teammates drawn from around the globe.
Allegations of racial abuse have cast a shadow over the Premier League this season. However, it appears most racially abused sportsmen and women are often blacks, this notwithstanding splendid performances in the various sporting disciplines they take part in.
The penalties put against the offenders seem not to be working perfectly to eradicate the defeatist and awkward manner of treating blacks who seem to be performing well in sports and it is time the various sports bodies came up with more stringent measures of dealing with the vice.