[International] FIFA racism measures could see teams expelled or relegated
Friday 31 May 2013
Teams could be relegated or expelled from competitions for serious incidents of racism after tough new powers were voted in by FIFA.
First or minor offences will result in either a warning, fine or order for games to be played behind closed doors.
Re-offenders or serious incidents could lead to a points deduction, expulsion from competition or relegation.
Kick It Out chair Lord Herman Ouseley said: "Kick It Out welcomes this development. It is something the organisation has been campaigning on, and stricter punishments for discrimination more generally, for many years.
"We hope to see the practical implications of this ruling. FIFA is setting an example to bring football in line with other sports which don't have problems around discrimination and unacceptable behaviour."
FIFA president Sepp Blatter believes the measures 'send a strong signal to the racists that their time is up'.
The 'resolution on the fight against racism and discrimination' was passed with a 99 per cent majority at the world governing body's congress in Mauritius.
Blatter, though, accepts further work needs to be done.
"While we, in this hall, can all agree that racism must be stopped, more must be done outside, back in our respective home nations," said Blatter.
"We need zero tolerance and strict punishments everywhere. We must lead. We must set a tough, uncompromising example.
"Football can show the way. We can make a difference. With our newly-formed task force, led by Jeffrey Webb, and the tough resolution before you this week, we can send a strong signal to the racists that their time is up.
"But we need the help of all. We cannot win this battle alone."
FIFA commissioned a task force to address the issue of racism after a friendly game between AC Milan and Pro Patria was abandoned due to racist chanting .
Their verdict includes putting an official inside the stadium to identify potential acts of racism and ease the pressure on the match referee.
Further to the regulations that relate to clubs, the new measures will see any individual who commits a racist offence banned from stadiums for a minimum of five matches.
The five-match suspension is one that has been introduced by The Football Association , whose chairman David Bernstein sat on the task force panel in Mauritius.
Richard Conway, reporting for BBC Sport in Mauritius, said a concern was raised over countries who voted against the measures.
"Former South African apartheid prisoner Tokyo Sexwale, now a FIFA member, urged congress to check cameras to see who voted against racism rules," he said.
"Sexwale says (the) 1% vote against demonstrates how football still has to fight against racism."
From BBC Sport