FIFA approves new racism sanctions
Tough new sanctions to combat racism have been voted in with a 99 per cent majority at the FIFA Congress in Mauritius.
Following presentations by FIFA president Sepp Blatter and anti-racism and discrimination task force chair Jeffrey Webb, the Congress overwhelmingly voted to support the proposed guidelines.
For a first or 'minor' offence, sanctions include a warning, fine or the playing of a match behind closed doors. For reoffences or 'serious incidents' the punishments for teams can now include points deductions, expulsion from a given competition or even relegation.
FIFA further states that any individual involved in racist or discriminatory behaviour will be subject to a five-game ban.
Additionally, the FIFA resolution provides for the presence of "a specialised official to be in the stadium to identify potential acts of racism or discrimination".
This additional official will ease the burden on the referee and his assistants.
Introducing the vote, Blatter said: "We have been through a difficult time. It has been a test for the world of football and for those who lead it.
"There have been despicable events this year that have cast a long shadow over football and the rest of society.
"I am speaking of the politics of hate - racism, ignorance, discrimination, intolerance, small-minded prejudice. That uncivilised, immoral and self-destructive force that we all detest."
Blatter added that the work of Webb's task force would "send a strong signal to the racists that their time is up".
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