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FA's hardly in position to lecture.

Byline: AndyDunn

NO insensitive pun intended, but the case involving Serbia, England, UEFA and racism is not a black and white one.

Yes, the punishment handed down by the governing body clearly errs on the side of leniency.

The alternative to a fine (PS65,900), an order to play their next Under-21 match behind closed doors and suspensions for various players and coaches would have been to ban Serbia's national team whether junior or senior - from competition for a prolonged period.

And considering their previous, that would not seem too draconian. But such a zero tolerance approach would have to be uniform throughout the sport, throughout the world.

As a club, for example, West Ham has yet to be punished by the Football Association after a number of their fans hissed and sang anti-semitic chants at White Hart Lane.

Investigations are ongoing but I doubt the club will be banned or told to play a game without supporters.

The FA, understandably, has expressed disappointment verging on outrage at UEFA's sanctions. But, on the issue of racism, the FA took a spectacular dive from the high moral ground when it banned an England captain, John Terry for just four games after finding him guilty of aiming racist abuse at Anton Ferdinand.

Yes, UEFA has been relatively weak in the Serbia case and, at the very least, the details of the punishment should have been accompanied by a rider that stressed one more offence would lead to expulsion from a tournament.

But after the lamentable sentence for Terry, the FA is hardly in a position of strength when it comes to lectures on leniency.

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CONTROVERSY: Terry
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Title Annotation:Sport; Opinion, Columns
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 16, 2012
Words:276
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