Uefa proposes 10-match ban for racist abuse

Uefa plans 10-match bans for racism

Players and officials found guilty of racist behaviour face 10-match bans as part of new plans proposed by Uefa.

Uefa general secretary Gianni Infantino also revealed clubs could be forced to close part or all of their stadiums if fans racially abuse players.

Infantino said: "It's still a scourge on the game. We have to have sanctions.

"What we are proposing is that if a player or official is found guilty then they will be suspended for 10 matches."

Speaking at the Soccerex event in Manchesterexternal-link today, Infantino added: "If supporters are found guilty then there will be a partial closure of the stadium.

"This means the section where offence took place will be closed. If there is a second offence by the club's supporters there will be full closure with a minimum 50,000 euros (£42,700) fine."

The debate on racism intensified this season after AC Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng led his team off the field during a friendly in Italy after facing abuse.

The Ghanaian walked off the pitch during a match against Italian team Pro Patria after he was abused by their fans.

Chelsea captain John Terry and Liverpool striker Luis Suarez were both found guilty of racial abuse by the Football Association last year.

Terry, 32, was banned for four matches and fined £220,000 for racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand on 23 October 2011.

Uruguay striker Suarez, 24, was sanctioned following a clash with Manchester United's Patrice Evra during the 1-1 draw at Anfield on 15 October 2011 and was handed an eight-match ban and £40,000 fine.

Professional Footballers' Association chairman and Kick It Out ambassador Clarke Carlisle has welcomed Uefa's proposal.

"My reaction to this is one of near satisfaction," he said. "A minimum 10-game ban is a fantastic start. That is a deterrent."

John Terry gets four-match ban

Piara Powar, executive director of European anti-discrimination group Fare, was also pleased by the announcement.

"We think in the end the best that football can do is to use football sanctions, closing a stadium or half a stadium speaks for itself - people are denied access to the game, the club loses revenue and it's an embarrassment, frankly."

But he added: "The sanctioning element needs to be accompanied with a very strong educational piece. We need fans to understand why they are being sanctioned."

He went on to raise doubts over the FA's recent investigation into claims by Fare that England fans were guilty of racist chants aimed at Rio and Anton Ferdinand during games against San Marino and Montenegro.

The FA has told Fifa it has found no evidence to support those allegations.

But Power said: "We think the FA has done the right thing in conducting its own investigation. At the same time there remains a question mark over why it won't accept the words of credible journalists of which there have been four or five at least who have publicly said that they heard things that the TV cameras, security cameras and other fans are not reporting."

The Uefa executive committee will vote on the new anti-racism proposal in London in May and, if passed, the ruling could apply to all Uefa competitions from as early as July.

Uefa is also asking all of its member associations to apply it to their own domestic competitions with the plans going to a vote of the congress in May.

The FA said it welcomed Uefa's comments and pointed out its own sanctions were being reviewed. It added: "This is ongoing and takes place in full consultation with the leagues, clubs, managers, players and match officials.

"We remain committed to tackling all forms of discrimination including racism."

Separately to Infantino's proposal today, Uefa has ordered Dynamo Kiev to play their next two home European matches behind closed doors after racist behaviour by the Ukrainian club's supporters during games against Paris Saint-Germain and Bordeaux.

The second game punishment has been deferred for a probationary period of three years. The Ukrainian club have lodged an appeal against this decision.


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