Roy Hodgson: Anti-racism stadium sanctions could be sabotaged

Uefa have thinking to do - Hodgson

England manager Roy Hodgson fears that plans to penalise clubs whose fans racially abuse players could backfire.

Uefa has revealed that clubs could be forced to close part or all of their stadiums in a series of proposals designed to combat racism in football.

"One does fear sabotage," said Hodgson at the Soccerex event in Manchester.external-link

"Groups coming in who have nothing to do with football but are, perhaps, of a Nazi persuasion who could cause an awful lot of problems."

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.

Hodgson said the plans could be applied in England due to the high level of CCTV coverage at stadia, but added that football's governing bodies would have to consider how the sanctions could be enforced in other parts of the world.

"I'm sure that from Fifa and Uefa there are a lot more details and nuances they have to think about before they can come out with a very clear statement," he added.

Football Association chairman David Bernstein said that his organisation was still considering its own sanctions for racial abuse after Uefa proposed 10-match bans for players or officials found guilty of such offences.

Players' union chairman Clarke Carlisle had claimed that the FA had been "gazumped" by Uefa's plans, but according to Bernstein an agreement on what measures to take is close.

"This is a Uefa decision, not an FA decision and we will not necessarily follow suit," he said. "We are examining this extremely carefully and are very close to a decision.

"I can confidently say we will be increasing the penalty, it might not be to 10 matches, but in principal I support what Uefa have done and this is a serious matter."