Anfield is the home of Liverpool Football Club. LFC has one of the most illustrious histories in world football. Arguably, it showed Manchester United, the biggest club in the world, how to do it – and spent almost twenty years at the top of the European game.
However, the recent racist tauntings of a visiting Oldham player, reveal that for all its claims to have modernised, football can all too easily resort to the provincial, parochial and small minded behaviour that tainted it for several generations. In the nineties, Liverpool had the elegance and talent of John Barnes to call on. Yet Barnes, a black Briton, would frequently walk on the pitch to bananas being thrown by racist fans – and many of these were home Liverpool fans!
For all its multiculturalism, Britain still suffers from huge regional differences, in relation to diversity and acceptance of differences – both cultural and racial. Our northern cities still have some way to go, to recognise that we are now one of the most racially diverse, and actually harmonious with it, countries on Earth. These differences emphasise that most of the “ethnic population” of the UK, lies in the south, and that for our small size, there still remains great intolerance and ignorance, particularly amongst the working classes of the north.
LFC authorities and the police (who themselves have much to learn), should pursue this case and not allow fans to think that this behaviour is acceptable. It isn’t.