By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger believes that football needs to stamp out all forms of abuse.
Alleged incidents at Anfield and Loftus Road in recent weeks have brought the issue of racism to the top of the agenda and the Arsenal manager is as determined as anyone to see perpetrators punished - whether its on the pitch or in the stands.
Wenger believes that sport has benefited from anti-racism campaigns such as Kick It Out and the Club’s own Arsenal for Everyone programme, which celebrates the equality and diversity of the Club and its fan base. While he knows there is still work to be done, he wants a wider debate to deal with other issues.
"I have always found racism stupid but I believe that England works quite well on that front and that sport has done a lot against racism and will continue hopefully," said Wenger.
"Compared to 15 years ago when I arrived, football has become much more international, England has become much more international, a lot more tolerant, a lot more open-minded. It’s a massive improvement. At the start of my time here I had Ian Wright and how many times did we have problems on that front? It has improved tremendously. We have to continue to do work but the situation is much better than 15 years ago.
"However there is an issue of all kinds of abuse. I have worked for 15 years in England and I have been abused how many times? And that doesn’t shock anybody. And the media has a part to play as well. It is not only about racism - any abuse is wrong. Nothing is done [about some forms of abuse].
"I would like to see people sitting on the [bench] for one day and hear what people chant. And you know it’s completely wrong - it’s the same as racism.
"You have to punish people and you will see if the rest will do it again. This is an important subject, racism, but it's not the only one. Any kind of violence, or abuse, you have to fight against."Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 28 Oct 2011