The newly created FIFA Task Force Against Racism and Discrimination, chaired by CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb, held its first meeting at FIFA in Zurich on Monday (6 May 2013).
The group focused its first meeting on the application of sanctions relating to racism and discrimination, to ensure uniform implementation of the sanctions that already exist in the FIFA regulations in a more consistent manner.
Key proposals from meeting
The task force made some key proposals which will be included in a resolution to be presented at the FIFA Congress in Mauritius at the end of May:
• An official at stadiums who would identify potential acts of discrimination with the aim of facilitating the availability of evidence,
• Applying sanctions in two stages, with a list of applicable sanctions for a first or a minor offence, such as a warning, a fine, or the playing of a match behind closed doors, and a list of stronger sanctions for reoffenders or for serious incidents, such as point deductions, expulsion from a competition, or relegation;
• An emphasis on the responsibility of FAs and clubs for the actions of their players, officials and supporters, and on the need to implement the existing sanctions in a harmonised way across all confederations, member associations and leagues
• A proposal to request that clubs and member associations provide a concrete action plan showing their intention to fight any forms of racism and discrimination.
‘Opportunity to reach all 209 FIFA countries’
“We have a special responsibility in the way we can impact football and society,” said Webb during his opening remarks. “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.”
The Task Force includes representation from football authorities, players and referees and experts including Piara Powar of the FARE network.
A second taskforce meeting is planned for the autumn to look at plans for prevention and education in football.