Is xenophobia evident in the English football media?

This is a hard question to answer, but if you look at this without any bias, you would have to say YES. This is because of the differing ways in which foreigners are treated. Many examples recently have even seen-

  • Differing reports of Luis Suarez’s dive and Gareth Bale’s dive
  • Differing reports of Suarez and John Terry being found guilty of their respective cases
  • Matt Law of the Daily Mirror saying British players/managers aren’t given a fair go

These are just some recent examples of the agendas which are set by the English media. It shows a bias, and a heavy one at that, to the agenda’s they want to set to alter the public’s perception.

Just to start, a quote from Matt Law’s article, about how British players and managers are not given a fair go by English clubs, “Luis Suarez did no better than Emile Heskey would have done when presented with chance after chance for Liverpool against West Brom and yet we are meant to believe the Uruguayan is world class.”

You can say what you want about Luis Suarez but everyone must surely appreciate the skill that he produces week in, week out. Other parts of his game many don’t like, but you must recognise his superior skill level to most others from around the world. Suarez’s league goal scoring record stands at 121 goals in 214 matches. Suarez is a nimble, fast player. Heskey, however, is a typical ‘English’ striker- big, strong, powerful, etc- and he uses that well. So how Heskey can even be in the same argument as Suarez is laughable, just based on scoring records in their careers. Heskey has scored 117 league goals in 547 matches. That isn’t a bad record but is a goal every four and a half game striker, Suarez is better than a one goal every two game striker. I’ll let you make up your minds on that one, as to who deserves the plaudits for being the better striker, and who should be leading the line for Liverpool.

I’ll leave the most blatant example until last- Suarez and Terry, so will highlight the differing reports of Suarez and Bale, and how they are treated differently, even though they both dived in games on the same day. Suarez was subject to various reports about his dive, which was very blatant! Bale’s dive, which was much worse as he received no touch, and fell because he saw that the Aston Villa player might be coming in to make a tackle. Yet, Suarez is treated much more harshly, and a major reason has to be nationality and his reputation that he is a diver.

Lets get the record straight. Gareth Bale, even according the referees, dives more than Luis Suarez. This can be seen by the number of times the respective players got booked in the 2011/12 season- Bale 2, Suarez 1. Does Suarez go to ground with too much ‘play acting’ after the tackle? Many say yes, but these are not dives. He is often fouled and then likes to draw it to the referee’s attention by staying down and rolling around, even when there is minimal contact. That annoys many, including me. Bale, however, says he is no diver, but just likes to get out of the way when a player is coming in for a tackle. That seems beyond belief that a player could come out and say that, and very little be made of it in the media! To see Bale’s dive, if you haven’t already, see

Onto the biggest examples in the English media, and that is the differing coverage and lead story of the Mirror newspaper the day after both were found guilty of using their racist language and remarks in their respective incidents. The below picture just highlights the differing ways in which the newspaper reported the stories.

The Differing Media Reports- Spot the Difference!

I won’t go into the guilt of both these men, but it is just hard to understand that these players were treated so differently. The paper leads with ‘Racist’ for Suarez and ‘Kicked in the Teeth’ for Terry. This would suggest that the newspaper were saying it is beyond doubt that Suarez is guilty but Terry who was also found guilty of the same legal standard of proof was wrongly found guilty. How that’s the case, who knows?

In an article before the findings were handed down for Terry’s case, Martin Samuel, in his Daily Mail article, said that “Terry stands accused of a racist outburst, and his career and reputation are at stake.” I fail to fathom why Terry’s reputation was at stake, but in Suarez’s case, his reputation didn’t matter. In his articles days and weeks before the verdict was handed down, Samuel was already alluding to Suarez’s guilt and speculating as to what suspension should be handed down.

You can make up your own minds about whether the English media treats everyone fair and equally, but I believe they do not. I think that in many cases, foreigners are treated differently, as has been highlighted by the examples listed above, and many more examples which have occurred in the recent past.


Martin Samuel’s article:–Martin-Samuel.html#ixzz293AcE4Ka

Liverpool top the diving league, but Gareth Bale is worst offender:

Matt Law’s article:


One thought on “Is xenophobia evident in the English football media?

  1. Pingback: Why is football behind in facing and eliminating racism? « Jake's Blog

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