FIFA finds its teeth30 June 2005

FIFA, the world’s governing football authority, has given itself the power to sanction member associations who fail to take action following racist incidents. This latest initiative which toughens FIFA’s existing anti-discrimination rules, was agreed after a spate of racist incidents blighted international football games last season.

In a statement, FIFA explained the new rules, “FIFA has now been assured a legal tool with which to sanction member associations that fail to discipline racist incidents in accordance with the FIFA statutes and the FIFA disciplinary code.”

In 2001, FIFA passed a resolution against discrimination but to the disappointment of many campaigners, this failed to motivate member associations into taking action to prevent racist incidents. The new rules should allow FIFA to take a tougher stance, in the same way that UEFA has been punishing European clubs and authorities for racist incidents.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter said, “Racism will now be dealt with in the same way as any other violation of the disciplinary code.”