Michail Antonio demands more severe punishments for racism in football grounds 1 year ago

Michail Antonio demands more severe punishments for racism in football grounds

He wants point deductions for teams whose fans have been found to racially abuse players

West Ham's Michail Antonio has called for more severe punishments for racism at football grounds, suggesting point deductions.

This comes after Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah was the victim of alleged islamophobic abuse at the London Stadium during West Ham's draw with Liverpool last week.

This incident followed a banana being thrown in the direction of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang during the north London derby, and Raheem Sterling being subjected to vitriolic, allegedly racist abuse at Stamford Bridge.

A Tottenham fan was banned from football for four years and fined after he threw a banana at Aubameyang, but '"fining an individual does nothing", according to Antonio.

"That one person, okay, he gets banned for life but to be honest no one has a picture of his face. He can get back into the stadium," he told Sky Sports.

"If you affect their team - these fans love their team - the fans, his friends, are going to turn on him.

"If you start playing games behind closed doors and deducting points, then the problem is inside themselves. They are going to deal with it themselves."

A recent poll revealed that 86 per cent of football fans who regularly attend matches in the UK have witnessed a racist incident at a game, with that figure rising to 93 per cent for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic supporters.

That figure surprised even Antonio.

"I would have said more in the 40s but I put it down to ignorance more than anything else. I feel like it is getting worse but I'm not going to blame the English leagues.

"I would blame the FA and UEFA because I don't feel like they're strict enough when it happens. Racism can be stopped in football stadiums but it all depends on what the FA and UEFA want to do about it.

"If they want to hammer down on it next season, it could take five or 10 years [to eradicate]. If they keep thinking of other solutions rather than just hitting it straight on the head, then it could take generations."