Football bodies seek tougher sanctions on discrimination23 May 2013

UEFA will consider stronger sanctions to deal with acts of discrimination at its annual Congress in London on Friday, as international football governing bodies announce new measures to deal with a problem that shows no signs of abating.

As preparations for the UEFA Congress were being made, the recommendations of the FIFA Anti- Discrimination Task Force, which held its first meeting in Zurich, were being drafted into regulations for the Congress of the world governing body later this month.

UEFA resolution

UEFA are putting forward a new resolution on tougher and clearer sanctions for clubs and national teams that are found guilty of acts of discriminatory abuse.

The resolution sets out a roster of new sanctions that include greater use of behind closed doors punishments and sets out a minimum ban of 10 matches for players found guilty of racial abuse.

FIFA's new Task Force, headed by Jeffery Webb of Concacaf, also focused on sanctions in preparation for an annual meeting in Mauritius.

The FIFA proposals include a requirement for guilty clubs or FAs to present a plan of action to demonstrate how they are dealing with racism and discrimination.

The new sanctions proposals have been welcomed by many fans, players and campaigners, but will be seen by some supporter groups as part of an increasingly repressive approach that affects innocent fans unfairly.

Growing militancy from players

The measures come in the wake of high profile player-on-player racism incidents in England, continuing examples of fan racism in Italy and parts of Eastern Europe, and growing presence of far-right movements in football.

The number of incidents has led to greater militancy from some black players in Europe with pitch walk-offs and a refusal to take part in official anti- racism measures.

Monitoring by the Fare network over the past two years has shown that over 30 countries worldwide have seen affected by incidents of racism and homophobia in football.