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Blatter appalled by Roma racism

13 May 2013 12:47:19

Blatter appalled by Roma racism

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has reaffirmed his commitment to tackling racism in football after being 'appalled' by racist abuse that occurred during Sunday night's Serie A meeting between AC Milan and Roma.

Play was suspended by referee Gianluca Rocchi for two minutes following the half-time break as racist chants directed at several black Milan players emanated from a section of visiting fans. The match restarted and, despite the dismissal of two players, ended goalless.

Blatter pledged to take stronger action against racism in football after Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng was abused during a friendly match at Pro Patria in January. On his official Twitter account, Blatter wrote: "Appalled to read about racist abuse in Serie A last night. Tackling this issue is complex, but we're committed to action, not just words."

The disciplinary commission of the Lega Serie A are yet to convene to discuss any potential punishment for Roma but on Monday morning FIFA published an outline of proposed sanctions for clubs and individuals found guilty of "racist or discriminative acts".

A statement on fifa.com read: "The newly created FIFA Task Force Against Racism and Discrimination, chaired by FIFA vice-president and CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb, held its first meeting today at the home of FIFA in Zurich.

"In this first session, the debates focused on the application of sanctions in cases of racist and discriminative acts, specifically studying the proposal to uniformly implement the sanctions that already exist in the FIFA regulations in a stronger and more consistent manner.

"The task force made the following proposals, which will be included in a draft resolution to be presented at the FIFA Congress in Mauritius at the end of May.

"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."


PA

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