Anti-racism taskforce must tackle 'nastiness' - Lord Ouseley

Footballers hold a 'Say No to Racism' banner

Kick It Out chairman Lord Ouseley hopes Fifa's anti-racism and discrimination taskforce can eradicate a "nastiness" unique to football.

The taskforce, formed to help combat discrimination in the sport, has its first meeting on Monday.

"We don't see that sort of nastiness in other sports," said Lord Ouseley, chairman of the anti-racism campaign.

"The tribalism and the way people seek to express their frustrations in football is quite unique."

Lord Ouseley urged the taskforce to introduce harsher penalties for clubs whose fans were guilty of racist abuse.

"What we've had in the past have been financial penalties, which don't seem to have been sufficiently punitive so I think it's quite important that if we are to have more severe sanctions we would want to see if that would work," he said.

"It's certainly an alternative that has to be tried because what we've had so far has not worked to prevent these incidents from occurring."

Taskforce chairman Jeffrey Webb, a Fifa vice-president, has already signalled that tougher measures are needed and concedes that financial sanctions are largely ineffective.

The BBC understands that the taskforce will debate giving referees increased authority to lead teams from the pitch if players are racially abused.

Under this rule the team whose fans caused the walk-off would forfeit the match.

"Referees have a responsibility for the wellbeing of players on the pitch and that includes not being abused," Lord Ouseley told BBC Radio 5 live.

"In our workplaces we should all be free from abuse and have the protection from employers not be harassed and racially, sexually or homophobically abused.

"Referees have that power to stop the game, to take players off and to get security and ground officials to deal with matters. I think that is one very important area which could make a difference."

An alternative option of retrospectively deducting points from teams is also expected to be discussed.

Football Association chairman David Bernstein, a taskforce member, will not attend Monday's meeting because of the relatively short notice with which it was called. The FA has sent a senior representative in his place.

The taskforce is expected to deliver an update on its discussions at Fifa's annual congress in Mauritius at the end of this month.

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