On Friday night I attended the Liverpool Oldham game at Anfield. I sat in the Main Stand enjoying the banter going on between the Oldham and Liverpool fans. Particularly the Oldham lot in the Anfield Road end vs the songs of the Kop. It was a great mix of rival banter and appropriate chants.
The game itself wasn’t great from Liverpool’s point of view until 28 minutes in when Simpson banged a goal past Pepe Reina amid a few mistakes made by recent signing Coates. It took the threat of going out of the FA Cup to kick the Reds into action. Two minutes later Bellamy, my man of the match (and judging by the standing ovation and rapturous applause when he came off – everyone else’s), got a lucky deflection after a Jonjo Shelvey shot. From that moment and especially in the second half it’s fair to say that Liverpool dominated the game.
After a Gerrard penalty, a Shelvey goal, a great half volley from Carroll and a well placed finish from Downing as his first goal for the club the Red’s finished 5-1.
But the game was marred by events in the second half. Oldham’s Tom Adeyemi, as you will no doubt have heard, was subject to some apparent racist chants from individuals in the Kop. Watching the game it was clear something significant had happened. I wasn’t sure whether something had been thrown at Adeyemi or something had been said. Kuyt and Gerrard were soon over to try to calm the situation. But Adeyemi kept on motioning to the Kop, something was clearly wrong. As Adeyemi motioned to the Kop, they responded immediately with boo’s. But it was then I noticed the singing. The Kop were singing of our favourite striker Suarez, understandably wanting to sing in support of him but the Oldham fans were replying with chants accusing all scousers of being racist. The true effects of the Suarez situation were coming out in the chants. It was as I looked back in the direction of Adeyemi’s gesturing that I saw a small group of fans, perhaps simply three or four, wearing the now infamous white Suarez number 7 shirts. I made the link immediately, worried that it might have been these few fans hurling racist abuse at Adeyemi – with the Suarez shirts a symbol for them.
24 hours later we hear on the news that a red’s fan present in the Kop that evening has been arrested in connection with alleged racist abuse. The question of whether it was those wearing the Suarez shirts is something that can’t be confirmed at present, but undoubtedly this event coming on the back of the last few weeks makes poor reading for football fans.
The event gave the game a bitter-sweet feeling, a great win, but unpleasant boo’s came from the Kop every time Adeyemi touched the ball for the final 10 minutes of the game. He’s was being booed because of his gestures towards the Kop, but these were understandable if he had been abused racially. At the end of the day, no player, let alone a young 20 year old footballer should be subject to racist abuse, something we desire to see stamped out of football. Unfortunately the Suarez affair, followed by this fan abuse has tarnished Liverpool’s reputation, and as the electronic advertisement boards around Anfield ironically displayed the ‘Kick it Out’ slogan, I couldn’t help but feel in the last few weeks Liverpool has taken a step in the wrong direction.
Unless I missed something that was said but I sat a few rows behind these lads I didnt hear anything from the corner from that incident. If u look at the reply tom did not point to the corner where those lads were sitting. They were the targets because they stood out in the crowd. They had been loud singing LS song only echoing from the kop thats about it. But from that incident tom did not exchange words with a fan in the corner, it happened more to our left as thats where it happen? Fans sat around me asking each other if we know what happened. And noone knew. We thought tom was having a go with his team mates,as we looked to our left to the goal post. 5-10 mins Later the lads were asked to leave. Non of us knw why.mayb just being drunk? I dont knw.
I totally agree with the club taking a step in the wrong direction. After 48 years of support this is the first time I sit on the opposite side of the fence. LFC has done everything they should not have, there are ways of giving Suarez support, and there are ways of flaming the situation… unfortunately, IMO, we have flamed it, with the result being a small group of supporters tarnishing our (LFC supporters) reputation.
I am a supporter of Luis Suarez who I feel has been victimised in the FA’s self-righteous quest to get one over Sepp Blatter HOWEVER, being a South African Jew I know the dangerous effects of racism first hand. These Liverpool ‘fans’ who abuised Tom are an absolute disgrace and should never be allowed the priveledge of setting foot in Anfield again. Liverpool need to set an example here because I can confirm that its reputation IS being damaged world-wide.
T21A and JOSH….Get a grip and do not get brain washed by the media.
Look at the arrests for racism in 2011 at other grounds, can you remember those in the press? What about the chants of Spurs fans to (then) Arsenal player..”Adebayor, Adebayoooooor, his dad washes elephants, his mum is a whore’. Now of course, sang by most (except Spurs) fans. I also remember vividly a young David Thompson coming off injured at Old Trafford playing for Blackburn and as he limped half-way around the pitch to a chorus of 60,000 fans, ….”You scouse ba****d”..not a word in the press or tear shed.
There is clearly an ageneda from the media towards LFC and an over reaction to ISOLATED incidents.
By the way, if the supporter is found guilty of racial abuse, he should be banned for life. Let us not forget the bigger crime of throwing objects at players is also worthy of lifetime ban….but not seen evidence of the (LFC versus Everton).
This of course should be the same for any fan who is found to be shouting (chanting) racial abuse.
Kick out Racism. Including the FA official posting racial jokes on FA letter headed paper.
What gets me is that Liverpool waged a whole campaign via the press. Interviews and press conferences when the FA instructed the clubs not to talk about it, t-shirts before a televised game with the manager wearing one, info leaked to the press including proposed ‘peace talks’. The club has made Liverpool the epicentre of race issues in football, yet now as they start to realise that tribalism doesn’t really work if people aren’t part of your tribe, everyone’s screaming media agenda. Yes there is an agenda. The agenda is to report about a story that the club theirselves brought into focus. If we had handled the situation in a forthright yet humble manner, it might all have been yesterday’s fish and chips paper by now.
I’m black! I’m a Nigerian! I’m proud of my skin colur. But I don’t understand why we should be racially abused, hated or discriminated against especially because we find ourselves in environments with the black population lower. But I also think Alvaro Pereira has a point. Those who feel unnecessarily offended have inferiority complex and are not proud of their colour! I had a couple of Italians as bosses who look down on blacks but I guess I became an exception for them when I didn’t give them the pleasure to make me feel inferior in any way except that they held higher positions in the company! Lastly, I want to implore everyone associated with this great club to beware of careless attitudes and behaviours that could further dent the image of the club. We have enough to worry about already! I love this club! Liverpool till death… YNWA!
Well said Florence.
Arrests or banning incidents at football grounds in 2011
MUFC = 2
CFC = 2
AFC = 1
LFC = 0
This is pathetic, there isn’t really a story here, if he was racially abused then the culprit should be found, charged and banned for life, there were 40,000 of us there that night and the stupid behavior of 1 or 2 individuals should not be given disproportionate attention.
Let just move on PLEASE
We could have ‘just moved on’ if the club didn’t turn this into a campaign. All those figures highlight is that we didn’t have a problem with it now we do. What kind of atmosphere have we stoked up where anyone thinks that could be acceptable on the Kop and despite our capt consoling the kid we STILL boo him? Is no one concerned about how quickly it has escalated already and how much legs this ugly behaviour has got?
So how would the club have avoided turning this into a campaign? When Suarez was charged should they have said “OK, he was wrong ban him all you like and sully his name”?
No, he made an honest mistake for which the media has turned him into a racist. I for one think the club was right to stand up the FA and the Media bully boys, that doesn’t give anyone the right to hurl racist abuse at our ground
For one, no t-shirts, they were tacky and brought undue media focus. Second, no discussion further than we support the lad and categorically oppose racism in the press prior to the verdict. Thirdly, if evidence has been withheld you appeal. You don’t allude to conspiracies without substance. It makes the club look like crackpots. Fourth, you don’t allow the accused to do an interview where he states that if found guilty he’ll apologise to Evra, and then don’t. Fifthly, you open dialogue with groups like Kick It Out and FARE where you maintain your stance that he is innocent but you can publicly reiterate your stance against racism and get advice as to at least the tone of your statements. This should have all been elementary PR and would have prevented this spiralling out of control.
I am a white or fair complexion Malay. My mother is of Portuguese decendents and my father is a Malay from Merlimau. I consider myself a white as well as coloured people and I harbour no racial feeling in Malaysia. It;s nothing wrong to call one a ‘negro’ over here. Once in “Kunkit” evrything is OK.
Firstly, racism is wrong, and if found guilty, with evidence to support the verdict, he should be banned for life from all football grounds and not just Anfield.
Secondly on the way Liverpool handled the Luis Suarez situation, in hindsight, yes LFC should have been a bit more humble in its approach. We chose to make it public, and that was a mistake, and one that we are paying for now. We should fought for Suarez, but not in the public eye. We made our problems public, and drew attention to ourselves. People in turn then used the opportunity to slander the club and chase their own agendas at the expense of the club. If we had taken a more humble approach, we could have perhaps avoided all this negative publicity. I think we have learnt from this, and won’t make this mistake again. We now need to repair any damage done, we can start by making an example of any fan found guilty. But where do we stop, what about references to peoples size, height, where they come from etc. That is something else that needs to be given some thought.
Oldham fan: Liverpool are not and never have been a racist club, it was a pleasure to soak up the atmosphere in one of the cathedrals of world football, I feel both clubs have handled the situation with dignity. One or two idiots should not tarnish a great and respected football club. I’ve always loved the people of Liverpool and Friday night hasn’t changed my view, they have always been fair minded and sporting. Our, and your first premiership game was against each other at Anfield, we scored first in that game too, same result in the end though.
I do hope our neighbours down the road don’t try cheap tricks, rise above it if they do.
p.s. Any chance of borrowing wee Stevie for a month or two, strolled through the game with out breaking sweat but put some real killer balls in. Good luck for the rest of the season, and stuff them red b@st@rds in the next round …please…..