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Clubs with racist fans must have points deducted.

Byline: CALDERWOOD DONS

RACISM is intolerable and UEFA should be congratulated for taking action to try to stamp it out.

From next season, Europe's governing body has said any game where racial abuse occurs will be stopped for 10 minutes to control behaviour. If that doesn't work, it will then be abandoned.

Unfortunately, I think this is a waste of time and money. If clubs that experienced this problem in the past knew a three-point deduction was the penalty for vile monkey chants, they'd pull out all the stops to get their houses in order.

Under UEFA's proposed scheme, who will pay the expenses for the clubs when the game is replayed and when will suitable dates be found on calendars that are already congested? I played with and against black players in England and Holland and cringed with embarrassment when abuse was hurled. In the

Netherlands, which has a large coloured population from its colonies in Surinam and Indonesia, the problem was eventually sorted out by the emergence of black stars such as Gullit, Rijkaard and Davids.

It is extremely difficult to be hard on black players when they have become heroes with the national team and that is what has happened in England also.

Fortunately, we no longer have racism to deal with in Scottish football. Sone Aluko has become a fans' favourite at Pittodrie and he and JavanVidal have never been taunted because of the colour of their skin.

On the managerial front, events yesterday in Germany show just how ruthless football has become.

Bayern Munich sacked coach Jurgen Klinsmann after a 1-0 home defeat by Schalke dropped the champions to third in the Bundesliga, three points off the lead but still with every chance of retaining their title. Klin smann has every right to feel aggrieved but that's life at the club they call FC Hollywood.

Bayern isn't just the biggest club in Germany, it is one of the biggest in Europe and as such is the subject of a lot of jealousy.

Their fans also believe they should win everything and when they don't, unrest is guaranteed.

Rumours about Klinsmann's position have been circulating for weeks with his players supposedly unhappy about his "too rigid" methods. What cannot be said is that he was not a success, reaching the last eight in the Champions League and still with a live chance in the domestic championship.

Former manager Jupp Heynckes has taken charge temporarily but what will the fans say if he doesn't finish top of the Bundesliga? In that event, I think the board will be blamed for acting prematurely.

Threat On the European front, this week's Champions League semi-finals will be wonderful games that live up to the expectations of a global audience. For me, the eventual outcome will be a Manchester United v Barcelona final.

United have so much going for them and Arsenal's defence doesn't look strong enough to cope.

It will be interesting to see how Arsene Wenger approaches the game but the loss of Andrey Arshavin cannot be underestimated.

It could be a high-scoring encounter with Sir Alex Ferguson's side doing enough to kill off Arsenal's challenge.

Chelsea must get a result in Barcelona because their home form isn't convincing.

But that's easier said than done.

Messi is the best player in the world right now so without left-back Ashley Cole, Guus Hiddink needs a plan to contain his threat.

But the movement, passing and finishing of their front five - Messi, Eto'o and Henry supported by Xabi and Iniesta - is far superior to that of their Stamford Bridge rivals.

Barca's speed on the counter-attack is amazing and a 2-0 win will be enough to secure their place in the final..

COMMENTS To send your comments to Jimmy Calderwood just text DRCALDERWOOD (space) then your message to 84080 (53305 ROI) each text costs 25p (30cents ROI)
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 28, 2009
Words:645
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