It is always fascinating to observe how major sporting bodies desire to be seen to do the right thing rather than actually doing it.
Or, worse still, masking the fact that they are doing the wrong thing.
Global soccer institutions have been struggling to deal with racism longer than they have been struggling to deal with strikers diving in penalty areas.
But a track record of weak and ineffective punishments combined with actually rewarding guilty parties continues to hamper any hope of eradicating the issue.
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Constantly simmering just beneath the surface of world, and especially, European football, the racism issue again boiled over last week when black England players were subjected to monkey chants and Nazi salutes during a match against Bulgaria in Sofia.
The behaviour - which had been widely predicted - demonstrated the abject failure of European football's governing body UEFA's approach to racism.
The fixture, and all other European Championship qualifiers, had seen players enter under a banner saying "Respect" before posing for a team shot holding a sign cutout around the words "#equalgame".
Nothing solves a complex issue quite like a hashtag.
EqualGame is a dynamic initiative set up by UEFA as part of its extensive spin operation aimed at creating the impression that it is tackling thorny topics like racism.
It has a fancy website on which it states its mission is that: "Everyone should be able to enjoy football. No matter who you are, where you're from or how you play. That's Equal Game."
It also features a line-up of top footballers supporting the idea.
One of them is Raheem Sterling.
The same Raheem Sterling who was then racially abused in the Bulgarian capital.
The same Raheem Sterling to whom England fans were referring when they chanted: "Who put the ball in the racists' net?" after the Manchester City star scored in the 6-0 victory.
UEFA's response to the ugly scenes was actually quite strong (charging not only the Bulgarian Football Union with four offences but also the English FA for having insufficient stewards and disrupting the national anthem), but it has been the slap-on-the-wrist approach of countless previous incidents that have allowed the problem to fester.
There is no greater proof of this than the fact that the game was played in a partially-closed stadium as punishment for racist chanting during a previous match against Kosovo.
Anti-racism campaign group Kick It Out has long complained that inadequate punishments have exacerbated the issue. Saying there can be "no more pitiful fines or short stadium bans", the group has called for proper deterrents like point deductions and tournament expulsions.
Even a cursory glance through previous rap sheets paints a familiar picture.
Minor fines were handed out to the Spanish FA after England players were subjected to repeated monkey chants in 2004; our old friends the Bulgarian FU after England players were racially abused in 2011; the Serbian FA after England under-21 players faced racist chants in 2012; while earlier this year Montenegro was ordered to play a qualifier behind closed doors after their supporters racially abused England players.
When full-back Danny Rose kicked a ball away in reaction to the monkey chants in that last match, he was sent off.
His treatment is an apt summary of how such issues are dealt with.
Soccer's world governing bodies have a history of not only failing to adequately punish offending nations, but actually rewarding them.
Russia, Ukraine and Poland have such widespread racism issues that they even have their own Wikipedia pages.
"Racism and discrimination in Ukraine" is well worth a read and explains that the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance has reported: "Tolerance towards Jews, Russians and Romani appears to have significantly declined in Ukraine since 2000 and prejudices are also reflected in daily life against other groups."
The equally-fascinating "Racism in Russia" page says Amnesty International has reported that racism in Russia was "out of control".
And in 2012, the BBC exposed widespread racism and anti-semitism among Polish and Ukrainian fans, featuring footage of those bigotry staples monkey taunts and Nazi salutes.
The Premier League is making it clear that there is #NoRoomForRacism as we continue to work with all our clubs, fans, the @FA, @EFL, @PFA, @kickitout and the police to tackle discrimination across all areas of football— Premier League (@premierleague) October 18, 2019
Find out more: https://t.co/hkQigsq9UApic.twitter.com/aYbKFqyt4h
So which countries were made joint hosts of the 2012 European Championships?
Take a bow Poland and Ukraine.
Which country landed the 2018 World Cup?
Step forward Russia.
And which country will host the next World Cup - despite a bidding process as clean and transparent as the Yarra River?
Well played Qatar - a country where homosexuality is not only illegal but punishable by death.
Few countries are in any sound position to throw stones in this glasshouse, least of all England which has plenty of its own racism issues to deal with.
When Cyrille Regis became one of the first black players to play for England, he was sent a bullet in the post.
Such was the abuse suffered by black players in the 1970s and '80s that in 2001 the Football Association issued a public apology that it didn't do more about it.
It may not have solved the problem, but at least it was listening.
Unlike the Bulgarian manager in Sofia, Krasimir Balakov, who initially said he did not hear any abuse - but then resigned in disgust.
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