The protocol, which enters into force with immediate effect, outlines a three-stage method for dealing with racist and/or discriminatory behaviour in football stadiums, such as racist chants, insults, screams and banners.
“We congratulate our 41 Member Associations for safeguarding a culture of diversity within football.” said CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb.
Under the protocol and as a first phase, when a referee becomes aware of serious racist and/or discriminatory behaviour, he or she shall first stop the game and order a stadium announcement urging the behaviour to cease.
As a second phase and if the behaviour continues, the referee shall suspend the game for 5-10 minutes and send the teams to the dressing room while another stadium announcement is made.
Finally, and if the behaviour continues, the third phase shall consist, as a very last resort, in the referee declaring the match abandoned.
Zero tolerance policy
CONCACAF will provide training to Integrity Officers, Match Commissioners and Referees to assist in monitoring for incidents during high risk games. However, referees will ultimately be responsible for implementing the approved protocol during each game played throughout the Confederation’s tournaments.
Regardless of whether a game is declared as suspended or abandoned, CONCACAF’s Disciplinary Committee will still establish whether disciplinary measures should be imposed to sanction the undesirable incidents.
“The procedure outlines a clear and precise approach of zero tolerance for racist or discriminatory incidents that may arise during matches,” said Webb, who is also Chairman of the FIFA Anti-Racism and Discrimination Task Force.
This protocol is part of the Confederation’s Embrace Diversity™ campaign, launched during the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup, which will include strong educational initiatives throughout 2014 and beyond.
The full text of the Protocol for Racist Incidents during Matches is available here.