Novo hopes for Rangers return

FIFA are proposing tougher punishments for racism which could
even result in clubs being relegated.

The world governing body’s newly created task force held its
first meeting at FIFA’s Zurich headquarters and discussed stricter
sanctions for racist acts, including point deductions, expulsion
from a competition or relegation.

An official would be assigned to games to identify potential
acts of discrimination as part of these proposals, which will be
included in a draft resolution to be presented at the FIFA Congress
in Mauritius at the end of May.

A FIFA statement outlining the proposals read: “Firstly, having
an official at the stadium who would identify potential acts of
discrimination with the aim of easing the pressure on referees and
facilitating the availability of evidence, which is not always easy
to obtain, for the disciplinary committees to take

decisions.

“Secondly, applying sanctions in two stages, with a list of
applicable sanctions for a first or a minor offence, such as a
warning, a fine, or the playing of a match behind closed doors, and
a list of stronger sanctions for reoffenders or for serious
incidents, such as point deductions, expulsion from a

competition, or relegation.

“Thirdly, emphasis on the responsibility of member associations
and clubs for the actions of their players, officials and
supporters, and on the need to implement the existing sanctions in
a harmonised way across all confederations, member associations and
leagues, with a proposal to request that clubs and member
associations provide a concrete action plan showing their intention
to fight any forms of racism and discrimination among their
supporters.”

The 12-strong task force includes England’s top referee Howard
Webb, Football Association chairman David Bernstein, AZ Alkmaar
striker Jozy Altidore, UN human rights commissioner Navi Pillay,
and Piara Powar, head of the European anti-discrimination body
FARE.

The 34-year-old Spaniard quit the former Scottish champions in
2010 after a six-year spell to return to his homeland with Sporting
Gijon.

But the former Dundee forward says he now realises that decision
was a mistake and wants to come back to Scotland.

Novo currently plays for Spanish Second Division side Huesca but
his family are still based in Glasgow.

He said: “There has been lots of rumours and talking. Obviously
I love this club and I would like to come back.

“It’s my home, really. For family reasons, it’s actually harder
for me to stay in Spain.

“My child still stays in Scotland, so it is difficult.

“I miss Rangers a lot. I never thought I would miss it this
much. The people here were always great with me. The treated me
very well.

“In some ways I regret leaving, in others I don’t. I’m the type
of person who never regrets things. It’s all about having different
experiences.

“But I would like to come back. It’s now between my agent and
McCoist. I spoke a little with him today, not much. I will speak
again when the time is right.”

Novo – who won three Scottish Premier League titles with Rangers
as well as helping them reach the 2008 UEFA Cup final – was back at
his old stomping ground on Monday for a charity match between
Rangers legends and former Manchester United icons.

But he missed out on the chance to impress McCoist when he
missed a string of gilt-edged chances to score.

The Ibrox boss, however, was able to show Novo how it was done
with a brace in a 4-1 win.

A crowd of 23,177 turned out to see a Light Blues side
containing the likes of Brian Laudrup, Jorg Albertz and Richard
Gough ease to victory over a Red Devils side featuring Premiership
greats such as Dion Dublin, Peter Beardsley and Dwight Yorke.

Former Old Trafford defender Ronny Johnsen had put United ahead
after 18 minutes but Albertz levelled on the half-hour with a
trade-mark scorcher from distance.

McCoist replaced Motherwell manager and former Gers midfielder
Stuart McCall before the break but had to wait until the
67th-minute to find the net as he curled home from 15 yards. A
second from a free-kick followed seven minutes later. The win for
the home side was wrapped up four minutes from time when Alex Rae
fired past Raimond Vander Gouw from the edge of the box.

Novo said: “It was a good game and really enjoyable. I was happy
to be out there alongside all those legends, some of the greatest
players to have ever played for this club.

“I missed a few chances and I was desperate to score.

“But that doesn’t bother me. The main thing for me was that I
was here. I played yesterday (for Huesca) and then got another 80
minutes. It was tough, now I need to go to my bed.”