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Julian Dicks' Echo column
12:00pm Friday 19th October 2012 in Sport
I THINK Serbia should be banned from playing in international competition for five years in the wake of what happened with Danny Rose this week.
I don’t think you would have seen that reaction from Rose unless something disgusting was said to him, and I have no doubt it was racist.
Unfortunately, this is the sort of thing that often goes off at parks football, but it is shocking when you see it happening in an international.
I know Steve Wigley and he is a really placid bloke, so for him to react the way he did shows me that something really out-of-order happened.
But I’ll tell you what, those Serbian players were lucky somebody held Steve Wigley back!
I’m not sure we’ll ever properly stamp racism out of the professional game, and to be honest I find that disgraceful.
So like I said, I think Serbia need a lengthy ban because that would make a proper example of them, and that might just stop it happening again.
I think footballers accept that opposition fans are going to try and wind them up, I used to get them saying things about my mum or my nan.
It happens, and unfortunately there’s usually not much you can do about it and you have to get on with it because what they want you to do is react.
But there’s no excuse for racism in any walk of life, including football.
I used to play football with John Barnes and he’d get loads of abuse from the terraces, like monkey chants or banana skins thrown on the pitch.
But John coped with it well, even though, of course, it upset him.
I remember we played at Oldham and we were waiting to take a free-kick and someone shouted something racist at John.
And John told me what had happened and pointed to this bloke, and he got embarrassed and it put him in his place.
And that says it all, because anyone who behaves like that does not want to own up to it.
* I turned the telly on to watch the highlights of England against Poland and saw what happened with the roof.
It was schoolboy stuff really – they did not put the roof on so the game was off!
You had a lot of working men and women who’d paid for their flights and tickets and did not deserve that.
I think it was poor from Poland, and they should have given a lot more thought to those travelling over to spend money in their country.
* It will be good to get back to some league action after the international break, and I can only see a win for West Ham at home to Southampton tomorrow.
The Hammers have had a great start and I don’t think you can read too much into a defeat against a great side like Arsenal.
I’m not sure it will be a comfortable victory, but I don’t care if it’s 1-0 or 5-0.
And I think it shows just what a good start West Ham have made to life back in the Premier League because if Southampton win it will be a big upset.