John Barnes is right in saying that to tackle racism in football, you must fix it in wider society

John Barnes is right in saying that to tackle racism in football, you must fix it in wider society

Racism shouldn’t exist in football. No discrimination should. That much goes without saying, and yet as seen when England faced Montenegro in Podgorica on Monday, it still very much does even at the highest levels of the game, and is the result of a much wider societal issue.

I took genuine time in debating whether or not to write this article. In truth, I actually didn’t want to at first.

However, racism has once again reared it’s ugly head and become such a major issue this week in football that it feels wrong to ignore. And ignoring it would be part of the problem, too.

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Fabian Schar’s head injury v Georgia demonstrates football’s glaring issues regarding injury protocols

Fabian Schar’s head injury v Georgia demonstrates football’s glaring issues regarding injury protocols

It doesn’t take a medical expert to understand that there should be little messing around when it comes to serious head injuries in football. For example, should a player be knocked unconscious after a clash of heads, it’s probably not best he continues playing.

Yet, for Newcastle’s Swiss international Fabian Schar, that very situation did happen over the weekend.

The central defender suffered a nasty clash of heads with Georgian defender Jemal Tabidze as both players challenged for the ball early in the first half, and the Premier League centre back was left visibly unconscious.

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Underestimated or simply upstaged? Scotland stumble from the start against Kazakhstan

Underestimated or simply upstaged? Scotland stumble from the start against Kazakhstan

Scotland fell to an embarrassing 3-0 defeat to Kazakhstan in their opening EURO 2020 qualifying match in the Kazakh capital, Nursultan. However, was it a case of underestimating the underdog, or simply being upstaged by a nation rising to the occasion?

Going into the match in the recently renamed Kazakh capital, the Scotland side will have been feeling confident.

Their opening two matches of their qualifying group had put them up against Kazakhstan and San Marino. On paper, that looked as close to a guaranteed six points as one could have hoped for from the group.

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Is the MLS’ Designated Player Rule hurting US football, and is it time for a rethink?

Is the MLS’ Designated Player Rule hurting US football, and is it time for a rethink?

Atlanta United, fresh off the back of their 2018 MLS Cup win, announced the signing of highly-rated Argentine midfielder Pity Martinez. Normally, that kind of signing would be a coup for American clubs, but it has left Atlanta in an awkward position – they are now forced to sell or loan out one of their other top talents.

That is because of the MLS’ Designated Player Rule – or the Beckham Rule, as it’s sometimes known.

The rule was brought in as part of the salary cap regulations introduced for the 2007 MLS season. It allowed franchises to sign up to three players which they could declare as Designated Players.

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Why Usain Bolt can blame nobody but himself for his failed football career

Why Usain Bolt can blame nobody but himself for his failed football career

There is absolutely no question that Usain Bolt was an incredible athlete, but let’s be honest; nobody actually believed he could become a professional footballer.

It takes a great deal of effort, commitment and determination for any player to break into the professional ranks of world football, let alone a 32-year-old effectively starting from scratch.

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Kazuyoshi Miura: Proving age is indeed just a number

Kazuyoshi Miura: Proving age is indeed just a number

In the modern game, a player is described as being in the twilight years of their career as soon as they reach the other side of 30. For Kazuyoshi Miura, he was reaching that stage in the late 1990s – so it’s rather incredible to discover the Japanese striker is still playing professional football today.

In fact, Miura recently signed a new contract with his Japanese second division club Yokohama FC – despite being 51-years-old.

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Jakub Blaszczykowski: Loyalty above all else in a modern game ran by money

Jakub Blaszczykowski: Loyalty above all else in a modern game ran by money

Many players speak about their loyalty to their boyhood clubs, and support them as passionately as the fans of those teams do. However, few have probably ever gone as far as Borussia Dortmund winger Jakub Blaszczykowski in order to help one of the sides that helped create his football career.

Having joined Wisla Krakow back in 2004 as a late teen, after previously playing in the Polish fourth division, Blaszczykowski spent two and a half years with the club – making 67 appearances in all competitions in that time.

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