Business Day

Uefa moots 10-match ban for racist players

- MIKE COLLETT Manchester

PLAYERS found guilty of racist offences faced a minimum ban of 10 matches, a sanction European football governing body Uefa hoped would be adopted by all its 53 members, general secretary Gianni Infantino said.

Clubs will also face partial closure of stadiums for a first incident of racist abuse by fans and a full one for a second offence, plus far tougher financial penalties.

The new sanctions, discussed by Uefa’s executive committee but not revealed until yesterday, would initially affect all matches in European competitio­n, with the governing body hoping that its members will adopt the same punishment­s in domestic competitio­ns.

Infantino, the opening speaker at the Soccerex European Forum in Manchester, told delegates: “We have to have sanctions and they must have a deterrent effect and what we are proposing is if a player or official is convicted of racism they should receive a 10match suspension at least.

“If supporters are found guilty of racist abuse, the first sanction will be a partial closure of the part of the stadium from which the racist abuse took place. For a second offence, there will be the full closure and a minimum fine of €50,000.”

Referees would be encouraged to abandon matches if there was racist abuse from fans towards players at games.

A number of high-profile racist issues have had a huge effect in the recent past, with Chelsea’s John Terry banned for four matches and Liverpool’s Luis Suarez for eight games. Kevin-Prince Boateng of AC Milan led his team off the field after racist abuse during a friendly match in Italy against lower league club Pro Patria in January.

Infantino said they backed Boateng’s stance but hoped it would not happen again. The new rules would be ratified at the next Uefa executive committee meeting, on May 22-23, and were planned to come into effect at the start of next season. Reuters

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Kevin-Prince Boateng

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