|NO ONE LIKES YOU: Millwall FC supporters are proud of the fact everyone else hates them. — AFP/VNA Photo|
I’m not going to apologise to supporters of Millwall Football Club for what I’m about to write. Insulting the team from south London really is a feather in the caps of fans.
They love it.
In fact so proud are they that their club is universally detested, they even sing a song boasting that very fact to the tune of Rod Stewart’s 1975 hit, Sailing.
No one likes us, no one likes us
No one likes us, we don't care!
We are Millwall, super Millwall
We are Millwall from The Den!
But after the actions of their so-called supporters on Saturday, the level of hatred towards The Lions has gone up plenty of notches.
If you missed it, this is what happened. After 10 months sans supporters, fans are finally being allowed back into grounds in England.
And moments after the referee blew his whistle to indicate the start of the match, players from both Millwall and their opponents Derby ‘took a knee’ as part of the anti-racism campaign that’s prevalent in sports the world over.
Cue booing from the Millwall supporters.
Ten months without being allowed into football stadiums and before a ball is even kicked, supporters of Millwall displayed the type of Neanderthal behaviour that doesn’t belong anywhere near the modern game.
This is a team that once had a supporter banned from attending matches because he racially abused a player. The fan at the time was 13 years old.
In fact, it’s safe to say that level of stupidity was more akin to the time when Rod Stewart was first performing the above-mentioned song.
But this is nothing new. Racism is still very much an ugly part of sport, particularly football.
And while it’s not really a surprise to see and hear Millwall supporters behaving like idiots (they don’t care, remember?), what is downright deplorable is to hear actual match officials using inappropriate language during a game.
In the early hours of Wednesday morning Việt Nam time, the Champions League match between PSG and Istanbul Basaksehir was abandoned after the fourth official, Sebastian Coltescu from Romania, used an offensive term to describe the Turkish team’s Cameroonian coach Pierre Webo.
Uefa has announced it has launched a "thorough investigation" into the incident. In England, the Football Association has also promised a "thorough investigation" into the actions of Millwall’s booing buffoons.
Will anything change? I hope so, but I’m not holding my breath. I’m sick to the back teeth of writing about racism in football. It’s far too common.
However, I do think there could be one saving grace. The players of PSG and Basaksehir did something on Wednesday that’s not been done before. They walked off the pitch and refused to play. That’s a big deal.
The match will have to be rearranged and a new team of officials brought in to referee it. The players took a stand, and more of the same needs to be done if there’s any hope of kicking racism out of the game.
No one likes Millwall FC, except for their own fans, but nobody at all likes to go to, or watch a football match, and see the players walk off in disgust.
There needs to be strong actions from those in charge of UEFA and the FA after their "thorough investigations". Something really has to give. VNS