Opinion - Clampdown on football racists is vital

The latest series of Peaky Blinders ended recently with a chilling reminder that while that foreigner Hitler was very much the bad guy in the run-up (and of course during) World War Two, a substantial number of people in this country wanted to see his British equivalent, Oswald Moseley, installed as our prime minister.

Friday, 18th October 2019, 2:52 pm
Bulgaria fans showing no respect to England players

And what with Brexit, the fracturing of the traditional party system and the terrifying rise of the social media troll, one can’t help but fear that the ugly faces of jingoism and fascism are beginning to re-emerge.

But while we contemplate our own short-comings, that does not mean we cannot complain bitterly about those of other states who seem never to have relinquished the vilest of racist views.

And in sport this week it was a knuckle-scraping section of Bulgaria’s football fans which disgraced its nation, trashed the international Respect inclusivity campaign, performed Nazi salutes and made monkey noises every time one of England’s black players had the ball.

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How utterly horrible for the victims.

I feel doubly proud that in their brave dignity, the abused sportsmen did their talking during the 90 minutes with a 6-0 rout.

The international footballing authorities really do now need to throw the book at the Bulgarian Football Union (whose boss did the decent thing and designed) and criminal charges be brought against those caught bang to rights on camera committing these offences.

Anything less and it will only encourage more of this disgraceful behaviour.