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McClaren weighs in on racism debate

SoccerNews in Eredivisie 5 Nov 2012

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FC Twente coach Steve McClaren believes long-term punishments could eventually be enforced before racism is eradicated from football.

The sport has been cast in a negative light following high-profile incidents of racism involving Liverpool forward Luis Suarez and Chelsea captain John Terry.

McLaren acknowledges racial abuse is abhorrent but says its occurrence in the sport has raised awareness of the problem.

“I think what you’re doing is actually highlighting the situation, highlighting the problem and getting more and more people talking about it, debating it,” he said.

“Therefore, you will get answers, you will get solutions and that can be only good.

“There will come a time when somebody really has to put down a three-year punishment. I hope that day never comes because of the work that is already going on.”

Suarez was banned for eight games for racially abusing Patrice Evra, while Terry was handed a four-match suspension for using racially abusive language toward Anton Ferdinand.

McLaren backed the work of organisations that aim to stamp out racism in the game.

“Would you ever cut out racism 100 percent? No way. But football has to be a vehicle to say: ‘No, it’s not right. Stop racism. Cut it out’,” he said.

“Football plays a big part in that – I’m sure it does.

“It’s creating more awareness and that’s what happens when conflict and controversy creates awareness. You then have to create solutions.

“There’ll come a time when everybody needs to get together, bang a few heads, and say this is the direction.

“But I think for football, and football in England and throughout the world, cutting out racism is one of the big things moving forward.”

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