Skip to main content

FIFA Task Force outlines anti-racism fight

May 6, 2013 -- Updated 2228 GMT (0628 HKT)
Sepp Blatter created FIFA's Task Force shortly after Kevin-Prince Boateng led Milan off the pitch in protest at racist abuse.
Sepp Blatter created FIFA's Task Force shortly after Kevin-Prince Boateng led Milan off the pitch in protest at racist abuse.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • FIFA's new anti-racism Task Force meets for first time on Monday
  • Initial proposals include attendance of officials to monitor racism
  • Points deductions and enforced relegation also on the agenda

(CNN) -- FIFA's anti-racism Task Force proposed the attendance of officials to specifically "identify potential acts of discrimination" at matches when the newly-created body first met on Monday.

Chaired by FIFA vice president Jeffrey Webb, who presides over the continental CONCACAF body, the Task Force also suggested the possibility of points deductions and/or relegation for "reoffenders or for serious incidents".

The Task Force will present a draft resolution at the FIFA Congress in Mauritius at the end of the month whereupon member associations will vote on the measures.

"We have a special responsibility in the way we can impact football and society," said Webb during his opening remarks in Zurich.

"One of the opportunities this task force has is its vast reach throughout FIFA's 209 member associations, where we can implement the resolutions in every region and every country where football is played, bringing universality to the mechanisms that combat racism and discrimination."

Webb: Racism sanctions will send message
FARE: 'Erratic' Sepp Blatter should quit
Boateng: Racism in football must end
Alex Ferguson: 'Racism still exists'
Hayatou: Good example key against racism

The creation of the Task Force was announced in March after a series of racial incidents affecting the sport.

In England, both Luiz Suarez and John Terry received bans for racial abuse in separate incidents that took place in 2011 but the story that made headlines around the world came when Milan's Kevin-Prince Boateng led his team off in a friendly in protest at racism from supporters this January.

Boateng was swiftly invited by Blatter to FIFA headquarters and was one of the first names added to the makeup of the Task Force, but the Ghanaian did not attend Monday's meeting due to playing commitments.

"K-P Boateng and Jozy Altidore didn't make today's FIFA meet," tweeted Task Force member Osasu Obayiuwana, a football journalist and lawyer. "I hope they attend the next session. Views of active players are crucial."

In their absence, the Task Force suggested that officials attend games to identify discriminatory acts "with the aim of easing the pressure on referees and facilitating the availability of evidence, which is not always easy to obtain".

The second proposal is likely to be of more interest to fans, especially those who have long argued that points deductions are a more efficient punishment for clubs and national teams than paltry fines.

The Task Force suggested the application of sanctions in two stages, with the threat of "a warning, a fine or the playing of a match behind closed doors" for "a first or minor offence".

For more serious incidents and those who reoffended, the Task Force spoke of "points deductions, expulsion from a competition, or relegation".

The third proposal from the new body was for the "need to implement the existing sanctions in a harmonized way across all confederations, member associations and leagues".

FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who courted controversy in 2011 when telling CNN that racism could be settled by a handshake after the match, announced his satisfaction with the inaugural meeting.

"Very happy with first Task Force Against Racism & Discrimination meeting," he tweeted, before later adding "We want strong & consistent sanctions at all levels of football for any discriminatory act."

A second Task Force meeting is planned for later in the year to discuss how to educate those in football in a manner which reduces discriminatory acts in the game.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1123 GMT (1923 HKT)
After 20 years, more than 300 goals and a host of major honors, Thierry Henry has called time on his glittering football career.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1014 GMT (1814 HKT)
They do things differently at Sociedad Deportiva Eibar, up in the mist-cloaked valleys of the Basque country. And it is working.
December 10, 2014 -- Updated 1353 GMT (2153 HKT)
He might be struggling to score goals for Liverpool, but Mario Balotelli's cheeky tweet about the British monarch hit the spot during the World Cup.
October 28, 2014 -- Updated 1253 GMT (2053 HKT)
How Real Madrid's new stadium will look
They splash the cash on the world's best players, now Real Madrid are giving the Bernabeu the same treatment with a bling makeover.
October 27, 2014 -- Updated 1309 GMT (2109 HKT)
Football world mourns South African captain Senzo Meyiwa who was shot and killed during a botched robbery in a township near Johannesburg.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1348 GMT (2148 HKT)
A man as a Roman centurion and who earn his living by posing with tourists gestures in front of the Colosseum during a protest where some of his colleagues climbed on the monument on April 12, 2012 in Rome. The costumed centurions are asking for the right to work there after they were banned following a decision by local authorities.
From the ancient ruins of Rome, a new empire rises. But the eyes of the city's newest gladiator light up at thoughts of the Colosseum.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1622 GMT (0022 HKT)
Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
October 17, 2014 -- Updated 1411 GMT (2211 HKT)
One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
October 18, 2014 -- Updated 1819 GMT (0219 HKT)
Ched Evans smiles during the Wales training session ahead of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against England on March 25, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales.
Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1247 GMT (2047 HKT)
After 10 years of golden glory, it's easy to see how Lionel Messi has taken his place among the football gods.
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1034 GMT (1834 HKT)
A football fan wipes a tear after Inter Milan's Argentinian defender Javier Zanetti has greeted fans following the announcement of his retirement before the start of the Italian seria A football match Inter Milan vs Lazio, on May 10, 2014, in San Siro Stadium In Milan
When will the tears stop? A leading Italian football club is pursuing a new direction -- under the guidance of its new Indonesian owner.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 2241 GMT (0641 HKT)
Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.
October 10, 2014 -- Updated 1310 GMT (2110 HKT)
After revolutionizing cricket with its glitzy Twenty20 league, India has now thrown large sums of money at a new football venture.
October 2, 2014 -- Updated 1453 GMT (2253 HKT)
Get ruthless. That is Rio Ferdinand's message to soccer's authorities in the fight to tackle the scourge of racism.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1328 GMT (2128 HKT)
A picture taken on May 16, 2014 shows 15-year-old Norwegian footballer Martin Oedegaard of club Stroemsgodset IF cheering during a match in Drammen, Norway. Oedegaard is set to become Norways youngest player ever in the national football team.
He's just 15 and the world is seemingly already at his feet. Norway's Martin Odegaard is being sought by Europe's top clubs.
ADVERTISEMENT