The Busi affair has taken a turn for the official. It’s about time too and it’s a very good thing, no matter what side of the controversy you’re on. UEFA has released official notice on their website that they’re opening proceedings against Sergio Busquets for allegedly calling Marcelo a monkey during the first leg of the Champions League semifinal at the Bernabeu. The decision will be handed down either May 15 or 16.
There are several things that are worth discussing beyond the procedural things.
Thing the first
It is imperative, as it always is in civil or criminal cases, to maintain a level of rationality about all of this. UEFA has not found Busquets guilty of an act of racism. They have opened proceedings to determine whether or not the alleged act occurred. These are extremely different things and the precise nature of this language is extremely important at the moment. We’ll all have our time to froth at the mouth on Monday if a guilty verdict is handed down, but until then, maintaining innocent until proven guilty is more important than being the first in line to throw rocks.
UEFA may have taken longer than expected and led some to believe they were sweeping this under the rug, Madrid may have pushed the envelope too far via the media, and Barça may have remained unaccountably silent throughout rather than dealing with things head on in a proactive manner, but it is being dealt with and it appears to be a fair and properly executed case. Like the criminal justice system of any country, state, or region, there are problems with UEFA’s judicial approach, but until it has run its course, it is hard to say whether anything wrong was done. In lieu of knowing that, again, innocent until proven guilty, and that means we should give a measure of trust to the proceedings.
The detail that stands out in all of this is the line, “The proceedings have been launched on the basis of evidence provided by Real Madrid (video and statement of club and player).” It is not news to anyone that there is video evidence involved, but it is news that Marcelo (presumably) gave a statement to UEFA. Without knowing what that statement is, it is impossible to speculate on its veracity (either in the affirmative or negative), but it seems rational that this statement will be the crux upon which Madrid’s accusations rest.
Thing the last:
Whatever the outcome of this trail, if that’s what we can call it, it is important that Barça (both the club and the board) confront it head on and openly discuss the very real aspect of racism in the world and its very real existence in the game we all love so dearly. In a lot of ways, this point has little to do with whether Busi is guilty or not and everything to do with setting the tone for future and putting Barça squarely in the driver’s seat of the fight against this insidious foe. There is absolutely no room for racism in this game and airing these grievances, putting them front and center, and actually dealing with them is far more important than what happens to the trophy cabinet or the club’s coffers. This is a club that wears UNICEF on its shirt (at least for now) and displays anti racism banners at matches, but is it a club that is paying lip service to an idea or actually embodies it? The club’s reaction will go a long way towards establishing FCB as either a leader in the fight against racism or just another faux do-gooder failing to live up to its own hype.
Much more later.
Busquets diu que no és veritat el que diuen que va dir. El nostre jugador assegura que va dir ‘mucho morro’
Busquets said it wasn’t true what they said he said. Our player maintains he said “mucho morro“.
The term “tener much morro” means “to have a lot of nerve”–so, in essence, Busi claims he was saying “what nerve.”
This may devolve into a he said he said thing or UEFA may take a particular stance depending on what Marcelo’s still unknown statement is. Or at least unknown to me at the time of writing these words. There has, at the very least, been a response from the club and it looks like they will defend him come hell or high water.
If he really did say “much morro”, well, Busi has some nerve of his own saying that to someone after he dove clutching his face…
UPDATE 2: It was pointed out by Ramzi on Twitter, but it deserves repeating here: Busquets’ denial does not mean he didn’t do it, but it is worth reporting. Someone is lying and there’s no reason to assume it’s Marcelo and not Busi. Marcelo too is innocent until proven guilty.
UEFA has a lot more information than the rest of us and thickly laying on the morality does no one any good at the moment. There’s a long ways to go in this saga, that’s for sure.