Football louts should be fired not fined

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 30 May, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 30 May, 1995, 12:00am

IT is bad enough to suffer the embarrassment of reading about one's countrymen behaving disgracefully in Europe. To find English louts hitting the front pages of the South China Morning Post is really very depressing.

I cannot imagine a more effective way of ruining the reputation of a civilised society than the incident last weekend, involving the assault by an Arsenal footballer on a Hong Kong cabbie, must have had on the public here.

These people are representing not only their team, but their country when abroad. With that should come some sense of responsibility. It seems that the intelligence of certain English footballers is now so negligible that they are incapable of appreciating the damage this sort of behaviour does to their own interests, let alone those of their countrymen.

That said, one must turn to their managers to answer for these imbeciles.

Frankly, fining these louts is not adequate punishment. In business life, such behaviour would very likely warrant instant dismissal. It strikes me that an occupation as much in the public eye as football should result in the same.

This wretched man, along with a sickeningly large number of his compatriots, cannot be allowed to sully the reputation of Britain any longer.

It is time the management of football teams started to take a firmer line with their players instead of contributing to the damage by letting these people return to the playing field. MARK PRESTON Mid-Levels