Russell Martin backs Norwich City’s hardline stance on racist abuse

Norwich City captain Russell Martin has backed the Canaries' hardline stance on racist abuse. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd Norwich City captain Russell Martin has backed the Canaries' hardline stance on racist abuse. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Saturday, November 2, 2013
6:20 AM

Russell Martin has applauded Norwich City’s hardline stance on combating racism within the professional game.

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Canaries’ chief Chris Hughton has recently been subjected to alleged abuse on social media sites which has sparked a strong response from the club. City officials have pledged to issue lifetime bans to anyone found guilty of racist abuse and Martin has added his growing voice to the condemnation.

“It is disgusting,” he said. “The club have made it clear publicly if they find who is responsible they will be banned for life and might be subject to punishment outside of football. It is not right. I think this club have been great in how the have dealt with the issues. It is the minority not the majority but this club deals with in the right way.”

Both Martin and his manager have endorsed Uefa’s decision to order a partial closure of CSKA Moscow’s ground for their next Champions League game following the racial abuse suffered by Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure last month.

“It is hard to say what is the right punishment but there is no place for it in the game or society,” said Martin. “Who am I to say Uefa have made the right or wrong decision, but they deserve to be punished.”

Hughton believes such overt racist behaviour inside stadiums would no longer be tolerated in England.

“Firstly, what I have been pleased with is the speed of that decision,” said the City boss. “There will be different opinions whether it is a good thing or whether the sanction is over the top. They have acted and quickly. Clubs are aware of what can happen and I am quite sure if theycontinue to experience those problems then sanctions will get tougher. Ultimately it is about eliminating those within a stadium who are at the forefront of that behaviour. In England with the cameras we have inside the stadiums we are able to identify those individuals so there is no hiding place.”

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