FIFA president Infantino: Racism in football needs to end, full stop

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FIFA president Gianni Infantino has said racism has no place in football or society and “needs to end, full stop.”

Infantino, responding to a number of incidents in recent weeks, urged football associations around the world to adopt a “zero tolerance” approach.

He said FIFA stood with players who had suffered racist abuse and would be “at the forefront” of the battle against racism.

“In recent days, it has been very sad to see a number of racist incidents in football,” Infantino said in a statement.

“This is really not acceptable. Racism has no place in football, just as it has no place in society either.

“FIFA stands together with Prince Gouano, Kalidou Koulibaly, Raheem Sterling, Danny Rose, as well as any other player, coach, fan or participant in a football match who has suffered from racism, whether at the highest professional level or in a school playground.

“Racism needs to end, full stop.”

His comments come after England defender Rose warned that racism would continue to be a problem in football as long as punishments were modest.

Tottenham left-back Rose was among England players targeted by racist chants from home fans during the 5-1 Euro 2020 qualifying victory in Podgorica last month, and UEFA has charged Montenegro with racist behaviour.

Last month, anti-discrimination organisation FARE told ESPN FC repeat club offenders should be relegated or have points deducted, urging Serie A to take the problem more seriously after Inter Milan fans abused opposition players for a third time in less than four months.

Infantino called for “harsh sanctions” to be imposed in racism cases, pointing out that FIFA regulations enabled referees to abandon a match in cases of discriminatory incidents.

“FIFA urges all member associations, leagues, clubs and disciplinary bodies to adopt the same procedure, as well as a zero-tolerance approach to incidents of racism in football, and to apply harsh sanctions for any such kind of behaviour,” he said.

“We will continue to be at the forefront of the fight against racism and guarantee to all our member associations that they have our full support in taking up this challenge.

“We will not hesitate to do everything in our power to eradicate racism, and any other form of discrimination, from football, at any level and anywhere in the world.”

News credit to ESPN

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