Blatter calls for tougher sanctions over racism
AFPLONDON -- FIFA president Sepp Blatter wants tougher sanctions over racism in football with teams kicked out of tournaments and points deducted.
October 28, 2013, 12:02 am TWN
Blatter, speaking at the Football Association's 150th anniversary gala in London, became the latest high-profile figure to react to accusations of racism in the game.
Manchester City's Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure claimed he was the target of monkey chants during the midweek Champions League clash at CSKA Moscow.
“It has been decided by the FIFA congress that it is a nonsense for racism to be dealt with by fines, you can always find money from somebody to pay them,” said Blatter.
“It is a nonsense to have matches played without spectators because it is against the spirit of football and against the visiting team, it is all nonsense.
“We need to eliminate teams from a competition or deduct points. Only by such decisions is it possible to go against racism and discrimination. If we don't do that it will go on and go on, we have to stop it, we need the courage to do it.
“We can do something better to fight racism and discrimination.
“This is one of the villains we have today in our game but I'm sure, with the combined efforts of everybody we can go on, but it is only with harsh sanctions that racism and discrimination can be washed out of football.”
Earlier, Football Association chairman Greg Dyke marked the governing body's 150th anniversary by also pledging to help stamp out the evil of racism.
Dyke was addressing guests and dignitaries, including FA president Prince William and Blatter, and he used the occasion to insist his organization is determined to drive racism out of football.
“It is the 20th year of the kick racism out of football campaign — congratulations to Kick It Out and to the outstanding work it has done,” Dyke said.
“It has achieved real success but we all know there's more to be done and the FA mustn't stop here.
“Of course things will change, nothing stays the same. But where they do it must be for the better.”
The FA chose the Grand Connaught Rooms in Holborn for their anniversary dinner as it was at the same venue where the first rules of the game were drafted by Ebenezer Cobb Morley a century and a half ago.
Dyke saluted the efforts of the FA to remain strong guardians of the game and promised to continue that tradition, saying: “There has been a huge historical focus this year, and rightly so.
“We should be proud of what our founders created and what The FA has continued in their name. But we should also be proud of what we are currently doing.
“Our consistent theme across the year has been to celebrate The FA's support for the grassroots game which has always been fundamental to The FA's role in football.
“At every turn, we have highlighted the work done right across the country by 400,000 volunteers and also highlighted what is being achieved with the 100 million pounds we put back into the game every year.
“We are all privileged to spend our days involved in football, to wake up in the morning and go to bed at night with football in our lives. We sincerely owe a debt of thanks to Ebenezer Morley and his contemporaries for the work they did 150 years ago.
“But with that involvement comes responsibility, responsibility for ensuring that football continues in good health, responsibility for ensuring it continues to thrive.
“Here in England The FA's task is to ensure as many people as possible can get involved in the game.”