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.”