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Wenger: Stamp Out The Stupid

Arsene Wenger has spoken of his desire for football's governing bodies to get the 'stupidity' off the terraces of stadiums around the world.

Wenger's comments follow a string of vile chants by Tottenham fans aimed at former Arsenal boy, Sol Campbell.

'My reaction is that abuse cannot be tolerated from anybody towards anybody in the world,' said Wenger.

'How can you fight against it? You can single out people who do it. You can punish them individually by not letting them in, then maybe single out a group of people who go from game to game and do it.

'Sometimes stupidity is contagious as well and sometimes in the crowd there is a competition to see who can be more stupid. That is why you should not let these people be together.

'First of all, there is a big tolerance and the abuse only becomes singled out when it is racism. That is not the only abuse which you get in the stadium, but maybe people only get touched by it when it is racism. Insults of any kind should not be tolerated either.'

'I think the racist abuse is much worse in some other countries than in England,' he said. 'I believe that England has shown the right direction and the right way by not tolerating it and has done much more than any other country maybe in the game.

'That's why the problem we saw [at Fratton Park] comes up again because people don't accept it. In this country I find they are a model to copy. Most of the time when you visit other countries you meet this problem when you go more down to the south.'

One senses that Arsene Wenger is not only backing his old player, but also fighting his own corner after being the victim of the most vile and despicable chant in football for many years.

Good on him I say.

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The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday October 3 2008

Time: 9:54AM

Your Comments

In an ideal world, fans wouldn't get personally abusive to individuals. However, football is an emotional game. It's one of the reasons we all love it so much! It would be a near impossibility to irradicate this from the game. I feel footballers recieve enough compensation to be expected to develope a thicker skin! Am I just being old fashioned?
Maybe a little Dave - I think a bit of banter with the players is fine, but racial taunts and sick jibes about peadophilia and unacceptable in my eyes .... even from our own "fans"
I totally agree rocky, but unfortunately football will always have an 'stupidity' element in the crowd. It's a working class sport. I personally don't lower myself to some chants that go 'too far'. However there will always be people who think they have a right to abuse players on the pitch. Were the Spurs fans actually racist? I didn't hear that, only homophobic chants. Not that it's OK though!
Sorry, I think abuse is abuse and banther is banther, I am not sure who will decide which is which. As one persons banther is another persons abuse?!
HackneyVal, spot on, banter is banter, abuse is abuse. Now footballers are extremely well compensated and if the crowd wants to have a bit of a go at a particular player in general terms then fine. But chanting that you wish someone would die of AIDS and if not be hung from a tree is sick. Anyone who tries to make feeble excuses to justify that kind of behaviour is a warped individual who and is no better. I have unfortunately had to read the pathetic bleating of a large collection of cretins on Vitalspurs trying to justify the deplorable actions of the majority of their fans at Pompey this weekend and I have learnt one thing. They don’t chant at Campbell for being Campbell, after all these years of underachievement, comedy, crap managers, crap boards, crap players they need a target for their abuse and 7 years after he left, 7 years, that bitterness needs a target. Sad bunch of morons that lot!
Navydave - yes mate, it was racist AND homophobic!
What bit does everyone deem racist? Is it hanging from a tree? That is a reference to Judas hanging himself. If people want to complain at least complain about the correct bits. Stupid. yes, as is 'gas a jew' and general hissing noises made at spurs fans, but racist, No..
LG, I must admit, Ididn't know the extent of the abuse. That's shocking. It's not a case of 'the player should take it' when the comments are as severe as that. It's a case that people should not have to listen to it. There must be an element of Spurs fans that were disgusted by that!
Eff off woddywoo, you know exactly what it's about. Navydave 'football will always have an 'stupidity' element in the crowd. It's a working class sport' sorry mate, but when it comes to football, it's all the posh JCLs that appear to know eff all about it! To single out the fact that it's a working class sport and create a direct causational link between them is so myopic it's untrue. This is a topic that's always gonna stir emotions...
woddywoo - talking rubbish mate? All I hear is pathetic excuses and an attempt at justification which I predicted in an earlier post to which you have perfectly made my point! I got clipped by a car the other day crossing the road, does that now mean I can go out and run someone over because it happened to me? What a complete numpty!
Eff off woddywoo?? What bit is racist shewore?? Please tell me? I do know whats it about thanks, its Judas hanging himself from a tree and was made up when Sol was on the verge of topping himself...
London Gooner too. Which bit is racist?? You NUMPTY
Sorry, weren't specifically referring to it being racist, the other bits in it are just as offensive, Not that i care, what i wanna know is, when your mob of cretins from the swamp sang something very similar at Highbury, why didn't our board threaten to do anything about it?
They are offensive mate. I hate Sol but don't sing it, I have heard spurs 'fans' sing about his dead father ffs and its sad. The thing is you and I just know it will give the yobs even more incentive to sing it now...
woddywoo - excuses, excuses, excuses. You're rather weak attempt to divert attention from the subject at hand and to split hairs is both pathetic and unsurprising! I'll ask you a question, which part of that chant is right in any way shape or form and what gives any of the salad dodging knuckle draggers you call spud fans the right to sing that about anyone? Answer that for me?
Similar thing with Lampard lately, can't stand him but would never try n coat someone for something like we're in Heysel / Munich territory.
Spurs fans have a right to give Campbell stick, but those chants are over the line of what is acceptable. But woddywoo is correct to dismiss the link with racism, there is no racist element to the chant. Spurs fans often sing about Ledley King being better than Campbell, so to talk of racism is off the mark. But we don't bear any halos here, I think Arsenal fans continued use of the word 'yid' is wrong no matter the justifications I've heard. It still invokes a religious/ racial element that is unnecessary and a bit unsavoury. Some of the chants about Ashley Cole's wife were also a bit off. I've also heard a small number singing "carefree wherever you may be, Chelsea's left back's got HIV…." Thankfully, I haven't heard it go up in the ground, only on the tube or in the pub. I have honestly never heard anti-Jewish songs go up en masse at a North London derby, only from individuals. It's an unfortunate by product of the mob mentality of a football crowd, we all come up with and join in with some banter, but what shocked me about the Spurs chant towards Campbell was the sheer amount of people that joined in, but this is where the police really need to do their job, I see so much apathy from policemen and stewards in football grounds. I complained about a United fan racially abusing a friend of mine at OT in 2002 and was told to shut up or else I'd be ejected from the ground.
Little Dutch
Any chants that ar eoofensive are usually from an element of one at The Grove. There are never any sick chants en masses from our crowd. Campbell, Cole et al all made a rod for their backs with their behaviour towards porevious clubs and all deserve as much stick as we can dish out, but wishing people were dead is just sick! LD as for the Police inaction, yes that is sad, but maybe the really sad indictment here is that they had the opportunity/reason to act at all in the first place......
London Gooner how have I attempted to divert away from the subject at hand?? Wenger is clearly making reference to the song having a racist undertone and it doesn't. Yes its a stupid song but its not racist, thats all I am saying, why is it being called something its not? I don't think English fans are that racist anymore so why stir it up from a song that has no racist undertones? If you think it has please point out the bit you think is racist?
To me i believe it has racist undertones and to come onto a board and try and argue the toss over if it is racist or not isn;t really the point, the point is a largee section of your fans are morons and the sooner other swamp dwellers condem them the better. The unsurprising thing is that there hasn;t been wide spread condemnation from spuddies, which is very sad indeed!
Again I ask you, which bit do you think has racist undertones? I don;t want to offend you but I dont know how else to ask the question?
Woody - you're not reading Wenger's statement properly. He's saying that something only gets done about abuse when it's racism, when the authorities should actually be dealing with all kinds of vile chants and songs. Hope that clears it up.
And hes right in that aspect Rocky
No, don;t worry mate, it is not being offensive and you ask a reasonable question. I think wether racism was inferred or not isn't the point, it does have a racist undertone when you talk about hanging people of certain skin colours. Now if that doesn't contain any racist element intentional or otherwise i don't know what does imho!
It is a shame that we have spent time discussing something that shouldn't have to be discussed in this day and age......
It is a shame, you make a fair point about this day and age. Why on earth didn't they use cctv to see who was singing it and arrest them in the first place? I am not trying to wind you up but no reference is made to skin colour at all. Spurs fans call him Judas and that is how Judas killed himself, hence why they sing it. Call it stupid, pathetic, low life whatever you want but not racist please. Why would they chant racist songs when half the spurs squad is black?? I have never heard spurs sing racist songs, as littledutch said I have heard individuals shout stuff never a whole section singing racist songs. I honestly think if it was racist supporters would actually turn on the singers (maybe going to far)
If the old bill marched into that lot down there and nicked a couple of bods then there'd almost certainly be some sort of off / full scale riot!
I agree woddy. I was once in the North Bank, and one of the geezers who travelled on my coach (he was a bit dim) was angry at the referee, who was dressed in black, and he shouted "get your act together you black ********" and it just about got linched by half of Highbury. He had to do some fast talking there I can tell you.
Possibly shewore but whats the answer?? They aren't going to catch anyone now are they? Its like saying 'don't do that or we are going to be really,really angry with you'...
Ask the old bill mate... don't bother me that much. If it's any consolation, a lot of these songs are purely there to provoke a reaction, absolutely no other reason, the people that sing don't always have an idea of exactly how sinister they can be.
Do we consider the song that goes The w*nky Tottenham Hotspur went to Rome to see the pope and this is what he said - "F**K OFF! racist too. Most people at the ground sing that.
Good point...
I actually find that few people sing the "*****y Tottenham hotspur" part and most join in at the "Who's that team we call the Arsenal" part and then it tapers off again at the whorish mother bit.
That's the lazy, people, let the others do the work then join in when it really gets going. Similar thing with '1 man went to bed...' whoops! I did it didn't i! Shouldn't be singing that :/
In the singing section or red action area where most people stand, i would say a large percentage of people sing all of the lyrics with everyone emphasizing F*** OFF. I also however think the majoirty of people who sing it are just singing along to disrespect spurs rather than inflict any racial slur.
As shewore said above. Most people sing these songs to get a reaction, to wind up and have a good time singing. When i think about the Ashley song and singing it, i dont ever remember thinking "i dislike gay people". Maybe that is ignorance on my part
My issue isn't so much that the chants against Cole are homophobic (thought the 'ten men went to bed' one is close to the mark) it's that Cole really doesn't deserve the effort we grant him.
Little Dutch
Personally, I don't see how there can ever really be a stop put to the "over the top" chants and songs. It's tremendous to hear an entire ground full of supporters urging their side on with one large voice, and, awful to hear some of the noxious venom that comes out of their mouth at times. I still believe players should definitely get the p*ss taken out of them by former clubs supporters, but death is a bit of a stretch. I may despise Cashley, but I want him alive for International duty......maybe just a bit of a cough then.
what are the chants?
Campbell deserves it anyway. Talking of Flamini...
have to make a comment even though I think this topic is just one to send the blog figures up;(next it will be the England team and that will go on for pages). IMO nowadays people are pretty thinned skinned. Chants have been going on for ages example, army ones refer to 'Our S.M. needs a rope around his neck'. and many more. Next we will have politically correct chants, remember telling a Fijian soldier to take care of the class whilst in the services and to play the white man, not meant as a slur apologized a thousand times to him laughing. If a chant is aimed at a particular person it is not justified but give me a break LD Yids they even call themselves the Yid army. I take more offense the same as s.w. over class, difference. And as usual someone says English fans, hey read the papers Indian cricket supporters have had a go at Symonds calling him a monkey. Lets get rid of all those who break wind in the terraces, now thats bad.
I agree totally LD with your first post, it was unacceptable some of the chanting and left a bitter taste. But Sol needs to apologize to us so it can be finally put to bed, not constantly moan about the abuse he gets every single time we play him, fanning the flames of hatred. He just doesnt understand at all how much he betrayed us and feels unjustifiably victimized. This what angers Spurs fans even more. Apologize Sol put it to bed once and for all and get on with your life. After all you said it yourself 'I was a Spurs fan as a boy it would be hard for me to leave...I would never join ars*nal, the fans wouldn't forgive me' Sol Campbell, May 2000.'
You would not go up to someone in the street and shout this abuse, so why being at a football match make any difference

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