Tag Archives: protest

Jason Roberts on why he didn"t wear Kick It Out T-shirt

The bananas have gone, but that doesn't mean the fight is won

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UPDATED:

21:45 GMT, 23 October 2012

When I said last week that I wouldn't wear a Kick It Out T-shirt I wasn't trying to lead a protest.

I was speaking for myself. But what happened over the weekend has, I believe, underlined the depth of the issues I was trying to draw attention to.

I have not been involved in any discussions about creating a black players' union, although I heard human rights barrister Peter Herbert saying on Tuesday that talks had taken place.

Battle's not won: Jason Roberts decided not to wear a Kick It Out T-Shirt this weekend

Battle's not won: Jason Roberts decided not to wear a Kick It Out T-Shirt this weekend

And if those discussions have happened, then it shows that the existing union is not doing enough.

They were told that Saturday's protest might happen, and that this situation could occur.

Myself and a group of other players have been in detailed discussions with the PFA for some time.

We suggested to them all along that this week could be an issue, because people didn't want to wear the T-shirt.

There are lots of players from ethnic minority backgrounds at every level of the game who feel strongly about these things.

It has nothing to do with whether you are fortunate to play in the Premier League or at any level below that.

Me too: Rio Ferdinand (left) opted not to wear the T-shirt

Me too: Rio Ferdinand (left) opted not to wear the T-shirt

No way: Rio's brother, Anton, also chose to boycott the T-shirt campaign ahead of QPR's clash with Everton at Loftus Road

No way: Rio's brother, Anton, also chose to boycott the T-shirt campaign ahead of QPR's clash with Everton at Loftus Road

I speak to players who are exasperated by the suggestion that the fight against racism has been won, simply because bananas no longer get thrown and monkey noises aren't made.

The last generation might have suffered from monkey chants, but we have to move it forward from just being happy that we no longer get that. Yes, it was progress.

But we can't decide that it is good enough, and we must keep moving the conversation forward.

We should have the same rights as other people to get into management and coaching.

For the number of players from ethnic minority backgrounds who have appeared at every level, there are still too few who have made it through into other aspects of the game.

It isn't just managers and coaches, either. There is not the representation in commercial jobs or other positions behind the scenes at football clubs.

People ask me what I'm looking for, and the answer is pretty simple.

It needs a serious approach to representation with proper resources to do the job that is needed to take things forward.

Longstanding: Manchester City's Joleon Lescott has not worn the campaign's shirt since 2007

Longstanding: Manchester City's Joleon Lescott has not worn the campaign's shirt since 2007

Kick It Out has done some substantial things, but as an organisation it is not seriously funded, and it should be.

The equality department in the PFA needs to change and should have stonger leadership and more than just one or two staff. It doesn't have the resources or the manpower to tackle the job.

These are the issues that I felt needed to be raised. Detailed discussions and recommendations have been tabled for a year now, across several meetings, without any progress being made.

If the protests by different individual players over the weekend have helped to get people talking about them then it has done some good.

I have been greatly encouraged by the support I have received from fans who understood the points we have been trying to make.

What we want to see now is for the authorities to recognise the depth of feeling, and do something about it.

Rory McIlroy puts Olympics decision on hold

McIlroy puts Olympics decision on hold ahead of bid to win $10m bumper bonus at FedEx Cup

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UPDATED:

21:32 GMT, 19 September 2012

Nine days on from the interview that caused a firestorm of protest back home and comment around the world, Rory McIlroy got the chance to offer his take on Wednesday.

Contrite might be the word for it. The Northern Irishman, brought up to respect the creed that honesty is the best policy, has learned the hard way that honesty doesn’t always pay.

In an interview with Sportsmail, McIlroy said that he felt ‘more British than Irish.’

Having his say: Rory McIlroy caused a storm after saying he felt more British than Irish

Having his say: Rory McIlroy caused a storm after saying he felt more British than Irish

A lot of reasoned voices had no problem with a man expressing an opinion. The xenophobe nutters who accused him of betrayal didn’t cause any lost sleep.

But it was the sense of hurt among from the thoughtful Irish masses, who have followed his progress from way back and enjoyed his rise to become one of the world’s best sportsmen, that this inherently decent 23 year old felt bad about.

‘Over the past week it has really hit home just how important my success is for a lot of people and what it means to them,’ he said.

‘I’ve had support from all sides, from people who call themselves Irish, from Northern Irish, to the whole of the UK, to people in America, and it would be terrible for me to segregate myself from one of those groups that support me so much.

‘It’s four years away before I have to decide about the Olympics, and after everything that happened last week, it definitely makes me reconsider my position and reconsider a lot of things.’

Does that mean he might play for Ireland, after all, in Rio As McIlroy said, let’s leave that one for four years and just celebrate Rory the golfer.

Shelving it: McIlroy says he will decide who to represent at the 2016 Olympics in the future

Shelving it: McIlroy says he will decide who to represent at the 2016 Olympics in the future

Shelving it: McIlroy says he will decide who to represent at the 2016 Olympics in the future

Here he is at the start of another momentous fortnight. Next week he will be a ‘marked man,’ in Jim Furyk’s words, at the Ryder Cup.

But first up is the chance to obtain another landmark in his wonderful year and claim the $10 million bonus that goes to the winner of the FedEx Cup.

This morning’s first round of the Tour Championship sees him, as so often during this four tournament race, play alongside the man he has usurped as the figurehead, Tiger Woods.

‘Morning, intimidator,’ said Tiger to Rory on the practice ground, a broad smile on his face.

This was Woods referencing some ludicrous remarks made by Greg Norman, in which he said that Woods was now feeling intimidated by McIlroy.

‘How can I intimidate Tiger’ said Rory. ‘The guy has got 75 US Tour wins and 14 majors, he’s the biggest thing to ever happen in our sport.

'How could some little 23 year old from Northern Ireland with a few wins intimidate him It’s just not possible. I don’t know where Greg got it from but it is not true.’

Woods’s response ‘It’s got to be Rory’s hair that does it,’ he said.

Intimidated McIlroy said there is no way he could faze the experienced Tiger Woods

Intimidated McIlroy said there is no way he could faze the experienced Tiger Woods

There was a more steely-eyed look, mind, when he was asked about McIlroy saying he would love to meet Tiger on Sunday at the Ryder Cup.

‘That would be fun,’ commented Woods, and there was no smile this time.

McIlroy comes here following a week’s holiday in New York, where he spent time with the New York Knicks basketball team.

The connection between the two is the fitness coach they share, Steve McGregor. McIlroy got to train with them and recharge following a fabulous run that has seen him win three of his last four tournaments.

‘It has been a long stretch of golf since the Open so it was an important week off to get myself ready for not only this week but next week as well,’ he said.

Having led the FedEx race for so long, is there any danger of going to the Ryder Cup feeling flat if he does not win it

‘There could be a little adjustment period but once you enter the team room it doesn’t take much to get the juices flowing,’ he commented.

Looking forward: Woods said it would be 'fun' if the pair were to meet at the Ryder Cup

Looking forward: Woods said it would be 'fun' if the pair were to meet at the Ryder Cup

Back home it has been an awful week, with the sporting world in the province shocked by the desperately sad death of Ulster rugby star Nevin Spence in a tragic farm accident.

‘I knew Nevin and have been around him a lot,’ said McIlroy. ‘To think that we are not going to see him again on the rugby pitch.

'It has been the first time really for someone my age to pass away and it’s tough. I have spoken to a few of the guys back home and I know it has hit Ulster very hard.’

So to the day job, where Thursday’s opening round will be all about him and Tiger.

But don’t forget Lee Westwood. A victory here, and he too would have every chance of walking off with the mammoth prize.

London 2012 Paralympics: Mariia Pomazan returns discus gold medal

Discus debacle settled as Pomazan returns illegitimate gold medal to IPC

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UPDATED:

19:30 GMT, 6 September 2012

The Ukranian Paralympian mistakenly awarded a gold medal in discus has finally returned the award.

Mariia Pomazan had kept hold of the medal seemingly in protest after a flaw in Omega's scoring system meant she was wrongly given gold in the F35/36 class.

She did not attend a second medal ceremony on Monday, when she was due to be awarded silver.

Returned: Mariia Pomazan (centre) has given back the medal

Returned: Mariia Pomazan (centre) has given back the medal

The Ukrainians were given until 5pm on Thursday to return the gong by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

Their press attache Nataliya Harach said: 'She has given back the medal. Our volunteer brought the medal to Mr (Xavi) Gonzalez (chief executive of the IPC).

'We had a letter that said it had to be returned by 5pm, so it was.'

Pomazan will face no further action by the IPC.

Spokesman Craig Spence said: 'The medal has been returned, we asked for it to be returned and it was. Everything's in order.'

Emanuele Pesoli hunger strike: Protest ends

Disgraced Verona star Pesoli ends hunger strike chained to Italian FA

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UPDATED:

23:28 GMT, 15 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Emanuele Pesoli, the Italian footballer who went on hunger strike in response to his three-year ban in a match-fixing scandal, has ended his protest after being promised a meeting with the federation president.

Former Siena player Pesoli, now at Verona, chained himself to the gates of the Italian soccer federation (FIGC) headquarters in Rome on Saturday and went on hunger strike after being found guilty in the sporting courts last week.

He has vehemently denied any wrongdoing in a wide ranging probe into illegal betting in Italy which has led to Juventus coach Antonio Conte being banned for 10 months for not revealing match fixing while at Siena.

Hunger strike: Pesoli chained himself to the gates of the Italian FA

Hunger strike: Pesoli chained himself to the gates of the Italian FA

Pesoli, 31, told reporters on Wednesday that he has been promised a meeting with FIGC president Giancarlo Abete.

'I have interrupted my protest, a little because of the help of FIGC vice president Demetrio Albertini, a bit because of the interest of Abete who I will see on Friday at 10 at the federation and a bit on the advice of my doctor, who in the morning forced me to eat something,' he said.

Protest over: Pesoli has been promised a meeting with the Italian FA

Protest over: Pesoli has been promised a meeting with the Italian FA

Euro 2012: England supporters band blocked from Donbass Arena

England supporters band… banned! Troupe blocked from Donbass Arena despite UEFA approval

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UPDATED:

17:30 GMT, 11 June 2012

Sponsors Pukka Pies are to make an official protest to UEFA after the England band was refused entry into the Euro 2012 encounter with France in Donetsk.

The band have travelled 2,500 miles by road to get to Ukraine for tonight’s game.

But despite assurances from the Football Association and UEFA, the band were not allowed to bring their instruments into the Donbass Arena.

Silence! The band were allowed in... after their instruments were confiscated

Silence! The band were allowed in… after their instruments were confiscated

Euro 2012 email button

The England band have been a feature of Three Lions games for the past two decades and estimate they have been present for over 300 consecutive matches.

Tonight is the first time they have been refused entry to a game and no reason was given for the decision.

The band were allowed entry once their instruments had been confiscated and the authorities said they will be returned after the final whistle.

Fine voice: The England fans made themselves heard... after they'd passed through security (above)

Fine voice: The England fans made themselves heard… after they'd passed through security (above)

Fine voice: The England fans made themselves heard... after they'd passed through security (above)

'We are going to make an official protest about this matter,' said a spokesman for Pukka Pies, who are sponsors of the band.

'There were no grounds for taking this disgraceful action, which is over-zealous in the extreme.

'Needless to say, we intend the band to be back in its rightful place by the time we get to Kiev for the Sweden game on Friday.'

Net result: Joleon Lescott headed England in front after 30 minutes

Net result: Joleon Lescott headed England in front after 30 minutes

Steve Kean"s Blackburn Rovers future in balance

Kean's future as Blackburn manager still hangs in the balance

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UPDATED:

21:54 GMT, 17 May 2012

Steve Kean flies back from India on Friday with his future as Blackburn manager still up in the air following two days of talks with the club's owners.

Venky's chief Anuradha Desai remains the only person standing between Kean and the sack, but no firm decision has been reached on his position after two three-hour meetings in Pune.

Rovers and out: Blackburn fans protest against their manager

Rovers and out: Blackburn fans protest against their manager

Eye on return: Steve Kean hopes to remain in charge

Eye on return: Steve Kean hopes to remain in charge

Mrs Desai is refusing to bow to pressure from supporters, club executives and even her own brothers, Balaji and Venkatesh Rao, to axe Kean after Blackburn were relegated from the Premier League.

A petition signed by 5,000 fans calling for him to go was delivered to Venky's headquarters ahead of the talks, and members of The BRFC Action Group released a video clip of Kean appearing to make disparaging comments about his predecessor Sam Allardyce with the intention of causing him maximum embarrassment.

Kean gave a presentation showing the owners his vision for the future of the club if he is allowed to stay in charge.

It is believed to have included assurances that the current first-team squad will stay largely intact.

Venky"s deny Blackburn sale reports

Venky's deny chickening out of Blackburn and looking to sell if relegation comes

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UPDATED:

10:34 GMT, 30 April 2012


Protest: A Blackburn fan wearing a chicken mask taking part in a march against Venky's on Saturday

Protest: A Blackburn fan wearing a chicken mask taking part in a march against Venky's on Saturday

Venky's have denied they are planning to sell Blackburn Rovers.

Steve Kean's side are staring relegation in the face after a dismal season but the Indian poultry giants insist they will not quit the club should they go down.

Investment bankers Goldman Sachs were reported to have been instructed to broker a deal with potential buyers but Rovers director Vineeth Rao dismissed the claims.

'It is not true, none of that. We have no plans to sell Blackburn Rovers, none at all,' Rao told the Lancashire Evening Telegraph.

'Even if the club got relegated, which is not in our thoughts, we are not planning to sell.'

You're fried: Blackburn look doomed to relegation after Sunday's defeat at Spurs

You're fried: Blackburn look doomed to relegation after Sunday's defeat at Spurs

Blackburn's season hit a new low on Sunday when they were beaten 2-0 at Tottenham without managing a single shot on or off target.

Rovers sit 19th in the Premier League table, three points from safety with just two games to go this term.

Rangers in crisis: Ally McCoist worried about SPL sanctions

Give us a fair crack of the whip! McCoist worry as SPL vote on new sanctions

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UPDATED:

23:32 GMT, 29 April 2012

Ally McCoist insists he does not expect the SPL to go easy on Rangers — but again warned the Scottish game would suffer if they are hammered by new sanctions.

Speaking after his side was beaten 3-0 by Celtic in the final
Old Firm game of the season on Sunday, McCoist looked ahead to Monday morning's meeting of top-flight clubs that will decide on fresh financial fair-play rules.

Increasing the penalties for clubs entering administration will be considered, but of more significance to Rangers could be the introduction
of sanctions against any newco formed in the wake of liquidation.

Hope: Ally McCoist is concerned about the SPL voting through sanctions

Hope: Ally McCoist is concerned about the SPL voting through sanctions

Plans to deduct such clubs 10 points for two seasons and cut their SPL financing by 75 per cent will be voted upon.

The outcome of the meeting could, therefore, have a major impact on the bid for Rangers from American businessman Bill Miller, which is based around a newco model.

McCoist stands by his assertion that Rangers and Celtic are special cases in Scottish football and believes the SPL must tread carefully at the crucial summit.

‘I don’t think for a minute they should go lightly on us, I really don’t,’ he said. ‘I think we should receive a justified punishment, if they see it that way. If they feel we should be punished, then I just hope it’s a fair one.

‘I said at the press conference on Friday that it is not a fair world or an ideal world.

‘I believe Rangers and Celtic are different. I might get criticised for saying that but, if you take a step back, they are different because of the impact they have on Scottish football.

Protest: Rangers fans march to Hampden Park to make their feelings known

Protest: Rangers fans march to Hampden Park to make their feelings known

‘I can understand fans up and down the country, who don’t support the Old Firm, saying that is rubbish. In an ideal world, it would be a totally wrong statement. But it’s not an ideal world and I believe it’s a correct statement.

‘So whether you have to treat Rangers or Celtic differently in a situation like this, I really don’t know. But there has to be an outcome.

‘That outcome might hurt Rangers, but it could possibly hurt Scottish football just as much, if not more. And that is something that would concern everyone.’

The Ibrox club could also today receive the written reasons behind last week’s decision by an SFA judicial panel to impose a one-year transfer ban and a 160,000 fine after being found guilty of disrepute charges relating to owner Craig Whyte’s tenure.

Pure delight: Celtic celebrate as they beat Rangers in the Old Firm derby

Pure delight: Celtic celebrate as they beat Rangers in the Old Firm derby

Rangers will appeal the punishment once they have seen that document, with McCoist having already stated it could kill the club.

Asked if the SPL now had a duty of care to treat the stricken Ibrox outfit fairly, McCoist said: ‘Of course they do, 100 per cent — whether it is the case of our club or any other club.

‘I’m sure they will do that. They might make another decision that we are not happy with and disagree with, but we will take it on the chin and react to it when we get the decision.’

The Rangers Fans Fighting Fund has already said it will take ‘appropriate action’ against clubs who go against Rangers at today’s SPL meeting, with club legend Sandy Jardine stating that ‘everything is on the table’.

Around 7,000 Rangers fans marched on Hampden on Saturday to protest against the swingeing penalties handed down by the SFA last week, with Jardine insisting he will consider handing back his Hall of Fame award if the punishment stands after appeal.

Alex McLeish says he won"t quit as Aston Villa boss

I won't quit! McLeish vows to fight on after Villa are dragged into relegation dogfight

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UPDATED:

05:27 GMT, 25 April 2012

Alex McLeish claims he has the
backing of Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner and chief executive Paul
Faulkner after fans called for him to be sacked after Tuesday's 2-1
home defeat by Bolton.

Villa are now just three points above the Barclays Premier League bottom three and have won one of their last 13 games.

Defiant: Alex McLeish has vowed to carry on despite slump

Defiant: Alex McLeish has vowed to carry on despite slump

Supporters turned on manager McLeish after Villa surrendered the lead given them by Stephen Warnock as goals from Martin Petrov (penalty) and David Ngog earned Bolton a survival lifeline.

McLeish said the level of abuse towards him 'was a first' but he is determined to win the battle to stay up with the support of Lerner and Faulkner.

McLeish said: 'They were supportive, they said “you've got to keep your head up”.

'They said everyone has to stay together and battle together and see it through.

Making their feelings clear: Aston Villa fans hold a banner in the stands in protest against manager Alex McLeish

Making their feelings clear: Aston Villa fans hold a banner in the stands in protest against manager Alex McLeish

'It (the fans' reaction) has also not weakened my resolve to carry on and see this through. Absolutely not. I'm not someone who shirks a challenge and I'll keep going.

'I can understand the fans' reaction. We went into a deserved lead and to see the game turn around like it did was horrible.

'I'll keep fighting for this team to get the points that can make us safe and every player knows the task facing them as well.'

McLeish, whose side visit West Brom on Saturday, admitted: 'We are in a relegation fight but we have got to rally the players for the next game.

Spot on: Petrov makes it 1-1

Spot on: Petrov makes it 1-1

'There are still nine points to play for, our destiny is still in our own hands.

'I believe in the players and believe we will still be in this division next season.'

Bolton boss Owen Coyle, who played under McLeish at Motherwell, hit out
at the level of abuse levelled towards the former Birmingham manager.

He said: 'It is not a nice part of football. We have the best game in
the world and that sort of thing is something I would like to eradicate.

Wall does its job: Charles N' Zogbia fires his free-kick into the wall

Wall does its job: Charles N' Zogbia fires his free-kick into the wall

'Surely there is an onus on you as a person to make your point without being poisonous about it.'

Coyle hailed 'a massive win' by his side as they climbed into 18th spot, only one point adrift of Wigan.

He said: 'I was livid at half-time and let the players know that because
we never got to the level we are capable of in the first half.

'But to be fair, in the second half, they were terrific even after going a goal behind.

'The character and the belief shown by the players after Villa's goal
was there for all to see and when we passed and moved the ball around we
looked a very good side.'

Blackburn 2 Norwich 0: David Dunn laments club"s position

Changes to blame, admits Dunn as Blackburn battle bravely to avoid the drop

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 22 April 2012

Midfielder David Dunn, who is Blackburn born and raised, can hardly credit how his club have been brought to their knees by infighting.

There was another protest march before the game against Norwich but Dunn acknowledges Rovers will have no-one but themselves to blame should they go down.

‘The club’s plight hurts a lot,’ he said after goals by Mauro Formica and Junior Hoilett brought three vital points. ‘Everything around it does. There just seems to be unrest everywhere you look and that hurts me.

Sort it out! David Dunn lamented Blackburn's current plight

Sort it out! David Dunn lamented Blackburn's current plight

‘It can happen when things aren’t going well, but I think there have probably been too many changes here in a short space of time. Any club making that many changes would be affected.’

Fresh from denying any rift with Gael Givet, who was restored to the starting line-up after having his attitude questioned the week before, the beleaguered manager Steve Kean found himself trying to keep a lid on claims of a bust-up with Steven Nzonzi.

Protest: Blackburn fans remain deeply unhappy with the club's owners

Protest: Blackburn fans remain deeply unhappy with the club's owners

The Blackburn midfielder evidently took exception to being demoted to the bench, after a recent dip in form, but Kean dismissed suggestions of an angry exchange between them by snapping: ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about. Steven has played every single minute, when he’s been available, and it has caught up with him a bit. I don’t want him being burnt out, and I explained that to him.’