Mid-Day Ticker: Man arrested for racially abusing Edu, India starts league & more

Edu (Getty Images)

With Martin Luther King's legacy being commemorated across the country, it's an eye-opening shame that blatant forms of racism still exist around the world, specifically in the soccer forum.

Over the weekend, U.S. midfielder Maurice Edu and Rangers teammate Kyle Bartley were the subject of racial abuse via Twitter, an incident that resulted in the arrest of a 41-year-old man who was due to appear in a Scottish court on Monday. 

Racism involving Scottish soccer is unfortunately nothing new. The Edu/Bartley incident was the second act of social media racial abuse in Scotland in January, as Inverness forward Gregory Tade was also the subject of a malicious tweet. 

DaMarcus Beasley, who had his car set on fire while he played for Rangers almost two years ago, and Edu have been the subject of racial abuse on multiple occasions during their careers in Scotland as well. 

Here are a few more stories from around the soccer world:

INDIA LAUNCHES PREMIER LEAGUE

The United States has another competitor for landing former standout, yet aging, international players.

India has launched a past-star-studded, six-team Premier League, one that its organizers said is partly modelled off Major League Soccer.

Some of the players participating in the league reportedly include Fabio Cannavaro, Robert Pires, Hernan Crespo, Robbie Fowler, Fernando Morientes, Juan Pablo Sorin, Maniche and Jay-Jay Okocha. The league will have a short inaugural season that takes place from Feb. 25 to April 8.

According to Reuters, each team will have $2.5 million to spend in its first year and teams can have no more than four foreign players and must have six Under-21 Indian players. Also, 30 players and six coaches, all foreigners, will be auctioned off as part of the roster distribution. Much like the Designated Player system, the high-profile names listed above will be distributed as "icon" players, with each team getting one. 

TEIXEIRA FILING APPEAL OVER KICKBACK DOCUMENTS

At least one FIFA executive has no desire to see documents detailing the organization's financial kickbacks from World Cup television deals get published.

Brazilian federation president Ricardo Teixeira is reportedly set to file an appeal in hopes of preventing the sought-after documents from being published for the public to see. The documents are said to have clear-cut information about which FIFA executives received payments from former marketing firm ISL. At the very least, Teixeira's latest appeal should delay the unveiling of the documents for months while the process takes its course.

Teixeira is one of the FIFA executives who has been implicated in kickback allegations in the last couple of years. He had already filed one appeal in a Swiss court to delay FIFA president Sepp Blatter from publishing the documents last month.

SAMBA HANDS IN TRANSFER REQUEST

Blackburn is trying to stave off Premier League relegation, but it appears more and more likely that the club will have to do so without centerback Christopher Samba.

The defender reportedly handed in a transfer request, putting the onus on the team to deal the 27-year-old starter by the end of the month.

The transfer request comes just after Blackburn manager Steve Kean claimed that Samba was a part of the club's long-term plans and that he had no intention of selling the player.

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What do you make of the Edu incident? Do you think the India Premier League can be a success? Think we'll ever see the FIFA kickback information? Do you see Blackburn staying up with or without Samba?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Americans Abroad, European Soccer, FIFA. Bookmark the permalink.

46 Responses to Mid-Day Ticker: Man arrested for racially abusing Edu, India starts league & more

  1. abc says:

    Edu needs to get out of Scotland, he should go to France.

    I thought India already had a league, I-League?

    “each team will have $2.5 million to spend”

    So in the inaugural season of this experiment, the teams will already have as much money as the MLS salary cap?

  2. PhillyMLS says:

    That just proves the organizers are a bunch of idiots if that is all on player salaries. 2.5 million dollars and you can only have 4 foreigners? There is no where near enough talent in India to justify spending that sort of money on domestic players.

  3. foolishfootie says:

    I’m sure most of the $2.5 million will be spent on foreign talent. Pires even said he would be paid 395,000 euros for seven weeks.

    “If my (club) president likes me, it could be 790,000 euros ($1 million). It is a lot of money. I’m not going to complain about that am I? But I’m not going there as a tourist. It’s a new adventure.” – Robert Pires

  4. Colin says:

    Is racism bad? Should we aspire to a society without it? Absolutely.

    Should racism be a criminal offense? I’m not so sure.

  5. Jeff says:

    I like the auction idea more than a draft. People complain in other US sports, more so than MLS, that teams on a course to nowhere blow games to get the first pick. Just auction the players and if you have cap room you can get whoever you want. It would be more exciting.

  6. Sgc says:

    It had better be a beautiful city!

  7. billsaysthis says:

    Sounds like the Indian league is copying the model of the wildly successful Indian cricket T20 league.

  8. jjraines says:

    I am sure…that it definitely SHOULDN’T.

    It’s always jarring to me when I see speech being criminalized across the pond. The crime being offensive tweets no less! Anyone who spends more than 5 minutes on twitter will inevitably come across sewage — it’s called the internet. That doesn’t mean those people should be arrested.

  9. BK says:

    It’ll be easy to get flamed on this board for questioning the lack of free speech in Scotland. The act of racism is intolerable, though, I agree. But to your point, no…a racist twitter post a criminal offense? I’m surprised.

  10. sandtrout says:

    I understand trying to get the racism out of soccer in countries where it’s been endemic, but an arrest? Criminal charges? Unless there was a threat involved, that seems stupid to me.

  11. Felix says:

    I thought India already had a league called the I-League?

  12. CSD says:

    The article didn’t explain the process well. Each team has $2.5 to get players in the auction. It is the same way their cricket league is run. The salary cap is different. I had an Indian coworker explain the IPL for Cricket to me when it started up.

    link to timesofindia.indiatimes.com

    “Team owners will be allowed to spend a maximum of $2.5 million on buying players, who stand to earn between $100,000 and $600,000 in the first season, which will last seven weeks.”

  13. CSD says:

    Except soccer is not wildly popular in most Indian states and the best soccer players in the World have contract restrictions that would stop them from playing in a short term soccer league. First IPL season I think only the English players were restricted from participating.

  14. BBB says:

    How does that “Sticks and Stones” thing go again?

  15. Joamiq says:

    Our notion of freedom of speech is an American concept. In Europe, all kinds of speech are considered criminal.

  16. Joamiq says:

    The Indian league is not a serious league. It’s just an attempt at a cash grab. It’ll be glitzy and gimmicky. The cricket league is like that too, but it’s successful because 1) cricket is way more popular than soccer in India, and 2) a lot of the best players in the world participate in the cricket IPL. Anyway, it’s not real competition for MLS given the length of the season.

  17. hak says:

    I agree. Arresting people for racial abuse is a slippery slope as any word can be considered racist or offensive. How do we decide which words are unnaceptable? Should someone be arrested for calling another “f-ing fattie” or “f-ing midget”? But unfortunately all social issues can’t be black and white(no pun intended) as there would be too many contradictions and double standards.

  18. vik says:

    Soccer is really popular, but almost exclusively European soccer aka EPL, La Liga, Serie A.
    The game is played by many children, but more as a pastime than competitively. Cricket is where more of the passion is, but that’s understandable since many of the world’s best players are Indian. It will be interesting to see if the IPL football league can bring these euro fans to watch local games. It’s kinda similiar to MLS’ challenge.

  19. Oranje Mike says:

    Unpopular speech is not protected in Europe.

  20. Wm. says:

    Joamiq said »Our notion of freedom of speech is an American concept. In Europe, all kinds of speech are considered criminal.«

    Great point.

    But I can understand their viewpoint, particularly in continental Europe where hate speech played a strong role in isolating and marginalizing certain religious and ethnic groups before they were ultimately destroyed. (Thinking of Julius Streicher and Der Stürmer here.)

    While I understand their reaction, is outlawing Holocaust denial and hate speech effective in eradicating them? It would be great if it did, but I am not sure it does.

  21. Robin says:

    +1

    I have been following Indian Football for years now and this Premier League Soccer (PLS) is not they way.

    1) This league will only be played in ONE STATE out of India’s 28.

    2) India already has a National League mind you it is crap for many reasons. I have always said the MLS model was the way to go for India but people want the England Premier League or Indian Premier League (Cricket) model in which you have like 5 teams in 1 city and have promotion/relegation. These things can’t work in big countries like India. They need a new NATIONAL league that spans all of India. Not just one state. Also they should not do promotion/relegation.

    Just start with 8 teams in Mumbai, Goa, Bangalore, Sikkim, Shillong, New Delhi, Kolkata (2 teams), Kerala and Punjab. Then expand from there to places like Chennai, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Nagpur etc.

    But no. The Indians I talk to on the Indian Football Team Facebook page are nationalist for there city. They actually like the idea of having 5 teams in 1 city. Yet in places like Kolkata where they have 5 teams in I-League only 2 of them draw a crowd. In Goa you have 4 teams and none of them draw a crowd.

    The only clubs that are ran properly in India are Pune FC and United Sikkim FC and Pune is in the I-League and do well and even have the best Youth South Asian on there team with Jeje Lalpekhlua yet no one goes to there games. United Sikkim play in the 2nd Division and they draw 30,000 fans a game yet people outside of Sikkim hate the team for some reason.

    Also again the PLS will last 1 season. The stadiums will be bad, the icon players will complain about the stadiums and the crapness of the players they will play with and also eventually the PLS will try to get into the Asian Champions League and will fail because they are not affiliated with the AIFF (Indian Football Fed)

    Basically 1 season and gone. Just like that American Football League that is starting in November.

  22. abc says:

    Thanks for the detailed explanation of the sad state of soccer in India.

  23. Robin says:

    welcome mate. If you want to see more then go to wikipedia. I have made sure that most of the wiki pages on Indian Soccer are clear.

  24. Joamiq says:

    Yeah, your knowledge is way more in depth, but everything you said aligns with my understanding of sports in India. This in all likelihood is a one shot deal. They may try to adapt it somehow in year two, maybe shrink it to a month or a few weekend tournaments, but after that they’ll realize it’s not viable and it’ll be a minor footnote in world soccer history. Honestly, I don’t think the stars are even big enough names for casual Indian fans to come out. You’d have to have Ronaldo and Messi etc. for that. This is really just an exhibition and it’ll probably flop.

  25. Joamiq says:

    Yeah, I was just pointing it out. Americans often fail to understand how this is even possible because freedom of speech is so deeply embedded in our thinking. I had a professor in law school who got hauled into criminal court in France for publishing a negative book review. Completely crazy from our point of view, but normal for Europe.

    I’m mostly agnostic as to which system is better. They both have merits and troubling flaws. I tend to lean our way though…

  26. Wm. says:

    I agree with your conclusions. There doesn’t seem to be a clear cut easy solution.

  27. MicahK says:

    My last roommate told me he is from Brasilia, Brazil. He told me in Brazil if you racially abuse someone you can get arrested too.

  28. Robin says:

    Thank you. Well actually people in India know Canavaro and Pieres but guys like Peter Reid, John Barnes, Samson Siasia, Marco Etcheverry, Colin Todd, Teitur Thodarson and Milos Rus they won’t. In all likely hood only 2 teams will draw a crowd because Pieres and Canavaro will be on different teams. The fans will only go to there games.

    Basically it will be another NASL (1960s to 1984) league in which only a few teams draw the fans while the others suffer.

    Also you are right about Messi and Ronaldo. When Argentina played Venezuela in Kolkata, India in September the newspapers only said MESSI MATCH or MESSI IS COMING TO TOWN! I mean hello there are other players other than Messi. De Maria, Tevez etc. Also when they made the poster for the match instead of a picture of the Venezuela team they put a picture of the Paraguay Team instead. Even now, Barcelona have said they want to play in India with either AC Milan or Juventus playing them. You would think the headlines would be, BARCELONA COMING TO TOWN or something like that but no instead they have MESSI IS RETURNING! I mean do they wan* over Messi.

    If you think the USA has a gloryhunting or fake fan problem then go look at India. Its all Barca and Messi and Man U or Chelsea, Read Madrid or Liverpool over there.

  29. Rees says:

    It’s difficult to judge this sort of thing without experiencing the issue in the context of the society its taken place in. Does the right to free speech take precedence over the right to not be verbally abused because of your race? I think so. I’d hope my right to avoid verbal chastisement over my skin color would be placed ahead of someone’s right to call me horrible things. I get what everyone’s saying, but obviously people in Scotland feel this argument carries some merit. Yeah, it was a tweet. Yeah, the internet is full of mindless sht. Doesn’t take away from the fact that they’re still words that can be perceived as though someone spoke them directly to your face….

    I haven’t read the tweet. I Don’t know what was said. I’m just surprised at everyone’s reaction. Just sayin.

  30. pd says:

    Just out of curiosity, have you ever experienced racism? I’ve often felt folks folks who have been on the receiving end of of a crime are in a pretty informed position to judge if it’s a crime worth punishing (not assuming that they will all the same opinion, mind you).

  31. al17 says:

    Sochaux is no longer an option for him. They just got Doubai Thierry (Udinese) on loan for the remainder of the season. They don’t have alot of money, so unless something Bizarre happens, Edu will finish his year at Rangers. Hell, the last thing he should do is leave because of that crap.

  32. mouf says:

    i can see it, heck, possession of a controlled substance is illegal here, and it harms no one but yourself (directly, and the indirect is largely because its illegal) and is not an outward gesture, like say, racism. Furthermore, everyone has its own history and culture for which these laws came about.

  33. al17 says:

    I also thought India had a Pro League. I actually saw a match…I was stunned that they had a league and even more stunned at the large number of Nigerians whom play in the league. It wasn’t great soccer to watch by any stretch of the imagination. It was one of those you’re to shocked to turn from watching it type of scenarios. LOL

  34. mouf says:

    interesting when you look at their nations history with race (see bring in Japanese and the stated purpose of such)

  35. World Citizen says:

    Some fair points here. On the other hand, we’re far too weak on “Der Sturmer”-type rhetoric over here (e.g., radical Web sites that call for the assassination of certain women’s health doctors as “justifiable homicide” are tolerated, and even seemingly overt terroristic threats are rarely prosecuted). It’s always a tough balance to maintain, and recent European history obviously plays a large role in their approach to this issue. And no offense intended, but I’d also submit that arguing against such restrictions because they don’t eliminate the problem just doesn’t make sense. Laws against bribery and tax evasion haven’t exactly made those practices extinct, either, but does that mean we shouldn’t have such laws? Agree or disagree, though, I will applaud the Europeans for at least trying to do something to discourage the sort of rhetoric that dehumanizes others, just as I have also applauded Canada for taking legal steps to prohibit their news media from disseminating lies. We’ve got way too much of those things going on in this country today, and it has only made matters worse.

  36. mouf says:

    Id play for Goa… Party their is incredible

  37. Robin says:

    What do you mean play in Goa. This stupid Premier League Soccer only takes place in 1 state in India that is not even close to Goa.

    If you meant the I-League than ya I agree. Its a beautiful place. Sadly its full of what I call nationalists because if you ask Goans they will say that they want the National I-League to be ALL GOAN TEAMS! Same for people in Kolkata. There mentality is that the more teams from there state in the league the better but what about the other places.

  38. Joe B. says:

    I’m going to (do the internet commenter thing and) assume you’re not Black, and you probably never experienced being degraded or threatened because of your skin color…

  39. Joe B NYC says:

    +1 100%!!!!!

  40. GW says:

    You do not have to be black to be degraded or threatened for your skin color.

  41. jfc says:

    i dont know. some of the “sewage” i see on the internet should be criminally punishable.

  42. jfc says:

    general consensus of rangers fans is that edu is a terrible investment.(check any rangers forum) he should leave ,switch it up, play for a league that isn’t a two horse race. i could see him getting a starting role for blackburn(as could i see my 9 year old neighbor get a nod too) but maybe a mid table team?

  43. fischy says:

    Because racism is unheard of in France…..

    (snicker) (snicker)

  44. Joamiq says:

    Yeah, don’t get me wrong, most Indian soccer fans will know Pires and Cannavaro. I just don’t think even those two are compelling enough for people to come out repeatedly. And those other names, people don’t really care about them. I’ll bet they’ll do a lot of promotions and stuff so people will come to a game or two out of curiosity, but the novelty will wear off quickly.

    And yeah, it’s crazy how in South Asia people are totally nuts for Barca/Man U/Brazil/Argentina, but don’t care at all about their own teams. In Bangladesh people die during the World Cup trying to plant Argentine and Brazilian flags on top of buildings, they’re so crazy about those teams. But no one cares about the Bangladeshi players or teams.

  45. Eddie says:

    Remember Europe is not America, and people have to follow the laws of the land. Now, we Americans can embrace our laws and have them upheld, we have something to celebrate and be proud of. It’s probably a bad idea for non whites to play in Europe if there’s safety or extreme social issues to overcome. If nothing else, we should be proud in America that we are at least more civilized and accept others a lot better. Americans don’t have these stupid issue as much any longer, because we’ve become more civilized over the past 100 years.

  46. BBB says:

    You assume correctly on the former, and completely incorrectly on the latter. You don’t think white people are targeted b/c of their skin tone? In that case, I’ll return the assumptions by assuming you don’t leave the ‘burbs very often.