Racist players 'should be sacked' according to new plan

Fans holding up red cards in unity of anti-racism

Footballers guilty of racist abuse should be sacked by their clubs and banned for up to nine months, according to the body behind plans for a black players' union.

The Society of Black Lawyers has put out a 10-point plan to tackle racism.

It wants matches to be abandoned if there is racial abuse from fans.

The organisation is also demanding referee Mark Clattenburg be suspended while claims he made racial comments to Chelsea players are investigated.

In addition, the society has also warned the Football Association and Tottenham Hotspur that it will make a complaint to police unless action is taken against what it says is anti-Semitic abuse taking place at White Hart Lane.

The document was published ahead of a meeting between the FA, Professional Footballers' Association, Premier League and trustees of anti-racism body Kick It Out on Wednesday.

The plan calls for:

  • a minimum six to nine-month ban for racial abuse, rising to a five-year ban for a third offence
  • any fines going directly to Kick It Out to fund grassroots anti-racism initiatives
  • the creation of representative associations for black players, managers and coaches
  • guidance for referees to send off players using racist abuse and the power to call off games where the crowd is using such abuse
  • a 20% quota at all levels of the FA, PFA, clubs as well as football agents and referees
  • racial abuse to be a matter of gross misconduct incorporated into players' contracts
  • clubs to invest in the personal education of all players, including university or college education
  • recording referees and assistants during matches to pick up any possible abuse by players.
  • a system for reporting racial incidents to be set up with details of such incidents, both on and off the pitch, published each year

The society is involved in talks to create a Black Players' Association with some professionals, claiming the football authorities are not doing enough to represent them or to tackle racism in the sport.

The PFA recently introduced its own six-point action planexternal-link but the society says this will prove "ineffective".

The legal group says more needs to be done to engage with black players and adds that recent punishments for racist abuse given to Chelsea captain John Terry and Liverpool striker Luis Suarez have left some black footballers disillusioned.

Terry was banned for four matches and fined £220,000 by the FA for racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand, while Suarez received an eight-match ban for racially abusing Manchester United full-back Patrice Evra.

The society described those sanctions as "a slap on the wrist", adding: "The FA itself must set a clear set of sanctions against racist abuse on the field that reflects the seriousness of the offence."

It also says it will report any anti-Semitic chants at Tottenham games to the Metropolitan Police unless the club and FA show they are acting.

Peter Herbert, who chairs the group, said: "In discussions with members of the Jewish community, we were made aware that this practice is still continuing and it has to come to an end.

"If neither Tottenham FC nor the FA are willing to take a stand then SBL will report the matter to the Metropolitan Police Service for investigation and, if necessary, prosecution. The report will be made if this behaviour does not cease by 20 November. We will have monitors in attendance to observe what occurs."

Wednesday's meeting between Kick It Out and a selection of football's leading authorities is a scheduled get-together of the anti-racism charity's trustees.


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