BREAKING NEWS

BREAKING NEWS

Euronews talks to Platini as football violence rears its ugly head once again

Now Reading:

Euronews talks to Platini as football violence rears its ugly head once again

Text size Aa Aa

Tackling violence in football is one of the first challenges faced by the European game’s new manager, Michel Platini.

A policeman killed in post-match crowd trouble in Italy, a manager hit by a bottle thrown by a fan in Spain, mass brawls involving players and staff on the pitch in the Champions’ League- incidents are on the rise.

Euronews asked Platini what he plans to do to clean up the image of Europe’s most popular- and most lucrative game.

Euronews:
Much is being said at the moment about violence in football and the image of a sport which you call the most beautiful in the world is suffering because of that. For you, what measures need to be taken or is it inevitable that there is violence in the game?

Platini:
“Today’s violence in football is to do with punching and fighting, and no, it’s not inevitable. We simply have to do something about this sort of violence. We can’t allow people to spoil our game.There’s the possibility on one hand that football takes care of its own problems and clubs stop other supporters going into the ground but that’s against the idea of free movement and creating rules and laws is difficult. The other solution is to ask political institutions and maybe FIFA, the Olympic Committee and other sports to set up some sort of European control system which can oversee what goes on around football. Today we need police control for the sport, like there is for the internet, the economy and other areas.”

Euronews:
On the subject, you’re going to meet Mr. Barroso, the European Commission President soon to talk about violence in football. But on a European level what really do you think can be done?

Platini:
“Well, there’s violence and then there’s everything concerning the sport itself. I think Mr. Barroso should have faith in us, in me, and the game’s organisers and we have to regulate a sport that’s the most popular and beautiful in the world.”

Euronews:
You’ve said it’s a shame to punish clubs for violence when it’s individuals who cause the problems. How do you go about making supporters responsible?

Platini:
“I think they have to be caught and stopped from coming to the stadium. There’s not alot else you can do.Why does someone throw a firecracker or a flare, or a knife or a bomb? It’s not organised by the club. The individuals should be punished, not the club. There are always fines and suspensions but that doesn’t stop the violence. I think to eradicate it, you need to take away the people who want to destroy our sport, away from the stadium and stop them coming.”

Euronews:
Is there a way of stopping supporters coming in big groups, opposition fans that is?

Platini:
“We need the legal means to do that. Neither UEFA nor the clubs can do that. It’s up to judges, police and the law. I think it’s a good point that those involved in both the game and also in politics should discuss.”

Euronews:
You talk about protecting the game and making it more universal. But at the same time football is big business. How do you give it universal appeal and prevent economic problems for some clubs?

Platini:
“I didn’t know football was a utility! I thought it was a game. A game that became a business due to its popularity. I’m all for business in the game as long as it doesn’t control the game. I want the business to be regulated and organised so it’s not the businessmen who make the rules to earn more money. Football’s not a factory…it’s a game so let’s protect the social aspect of it.”

Euronews:
You’ve said we need to put real values and real rules back into football. Which is the most important value for you?

Platini:
“Respect. Football is respectful. We have to respect decisions, friends, the rules, many things. Sport had great values. Today it’s synonymous with great problems. Much is said about violence, corruption, doping, money. But at the outset, sport was about values and I think Mr. Barroso and his commission along with politicians everywhere put these values back by laying down decent laws.”

Euronews:
March 13- Manchester United against a European 11 to mark the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome and the entry of English clubs into European football. Some say the European Union is now too big, too bureaucratic and that the leaders are too far removed from the citizens. Does European football risk the same? Will there be nothing left but a few big clubs?

Platini:
“I say that football doesn’t go with a social model, the same might be said for European politics. 50 years ago Europe was created in Rome. We’re playing in Manchester because it’s almost 50 years since the Munich air disaster.

I hope it’s a good occasion for everyone, a chance to get together. It’s also a celebration of peace because the treaty was signed after the war. I hope all goes peacefully because if 50 years after we can’t have peace in a stadium, we won’t have come very far.”