Blatter says kick out teams for fans’ racism
FIFA President Sepp Blatter wants teams to be kicked out of
competitions for racial abuse by fans.
The push for tougher anti-racism sanctions was revealed late
Saturday by Blatter in a speech in England, days after the
Manchester City team was subjected to racial abuse in Russia, which
is hosting the 2018 World Cup.
CSKA Moscow is facing UEFA disciplinary action for its fans’
abuse Wednesday of City midfielder Yaya Toure, with a partial
stadium closure for the Russian capital club’s next European match
the likely punishment.
But Blatter believes the sanctions championed by UEFA President
Michel Platini are not strong enough, saying just banning fans from
stadiums, or fining national associations or teams is not the
solution to eradicating racism from soccer.
”It has been decided by the FIFA Congress that it is a nonsense
for racism to be dealt with, with fines, you can always find money
from somebody to pay them,” Blatter told a gala dinner celebrating
the 150th anniversary of the English Football Association. ”It is
a nonsense to have matches played without spectators because it is
against the spirit of football and against the visiting team, it is
”What we shall do is be very tough, we need to eliminate teams
from a competition or deduct points. Only by such decisions is it
possible to go against racism and discrimination. If we don’t do
that it will go on and go on. We have to stop it. We need the
courage to do it.”
The head of FIFA’s anti-racism task force, FIFA vice president
Jeffrey Webb, plans to meet Toure on Sunday at Stamford Bridge when
City plays Chelsea.
The FIFA Congress in May approved much tougher penalties for
serious racist abuse, including point deductions and
”We can do something better to fight racism and
discrimination,” Blatter said Saturday. ”This is one of the
villains we have today in our game but I’m sure, with the combined
efforts of everybody we can go on, but it is only with harsh
sanctions that racism and discrimination can be washed out of
Speaking on the site of the English FA’s first meeting in 1863,
Blatter praised the world’s oldest national football association
for creating the ”perfect” environment for matches by eradicating
the hooliganism and racism that once blighted the game here.
FA President Prince William, the second in line to the British
throne, told the dinner that there is ”sadly more work to do”
still to combat racism in soccer.
Rob Harris can be followed at www.twitter.com/RobHarris