Premier League

Vieira: We need strong punishments

Patrick Vieira
Patrick Vieira says he never experienced racism during his lengthy career.
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Patrick Vieira believes points deductions and banning clubs from European competition is the only way to stamp out racist abuse in football.

Former Arsenal captain Vieira said he never experienced racism during his lengthy playing career in England, but was surprised to see the topic dominate the agenda once more after a number of high-profile incidents.

And the 36-year-old believes the only way to punish repeated racist abuse is with stringent penalties.

"If you really want to fight racism, if you really want to show to the world that football wants to fight against it, you will have to use a deduction of points against clubs or kick them out of competition," Vieira told The Times.

"That will stop it, of course. If you kick a club out of Europe because they couldn't control their fans, it will happen once and I will guarantee it's not going to happen twice.

"If nothing is done, the situation will get worse and worse and you never know where things will go.

"Before we get to a place where you can't control it any more, you have to stop it straight away and the only way you can stop it is to have clear, strong punishments.

"Of course, we all need a second chance, we all need to realise that we are doing something wrong, but if you do it again the punishments should be really hard."

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