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FIFA to get tough on racism

World football's governing body agrees sanctions in fight against racism, including match bans and financial penalties.

Last Modified: 31 May 2013 14:29
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The proposals include the introduction of anti-discriminatory officers at games and five-match bans against players guilty of racial abuse [AFP]

FIFA's Congress in Mauritius on Friday adopted a resolution that will lead to tougher sanctions in cases of racism, including points deductions and even relegation for repeat offenders.

The Congress voted overwhelmingly in favour of the resolution, with 204 votes for and just one against.

"For a first infraction or a minor infraction, a warning, fine and/or ordering to play games behind closed doors should be sufficient punishment," read a text put together by a FIFA task force against racism.

"For a repeat offence or a serious infraction, the deduction of points, exclusion from a competition or relegation are the recommended punishments," added the resolution.

"Any person (player, official, referee etc...) committing an infraction should be suspended for at least five matches, including being banned from entering a stadium."

Lee Wellings meets racism taskforce chairman Jeffery Webb discuss the FIFA measures to tackle racism in football

Football's image has been tainted by several high-profile incidences of racism in the recent past, from Liverpool striker Luis Suarez's abuse of Manchester United's Patrice Evra in October 2011 to AC Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng's decision to walk off the field following abuse from the stands during a friendly game in January this year.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter urged the Congress to "send a strong signal to the racists that their time is up".

"There have been despicable events this year that have cast a long shadow over football and the rest of society," he said.

"I am speaking of the politics of hate - racism, ignorance, discrimination, intolerance, small-minded prejudice. That uncivilised, immoral and self-destructive force that we all detest."

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Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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