Kick It Out welcomes Mijailovic ban29 October 2006

FARE UK partner, Kick It Out, have welcomed UEFA's decision to ban Wisla Krakow defender Nikola Mijailovic for five UEFA competition games for the racial abuse of Blackburn striker Benni McCarthy.

The Serbian was found guilty of the offence that took place when the sides met on 19 October, by European football's governing body Uefa.

The 24-year-old was charged based on a complaint by Blackburn, the FA and match referee Stefan Johannesson.

Piara Powar, Director of Kick It Out, commented:

“This is excellent news. This is the type of move that shows that European football is serious about tackling racism.

“We feel it is important everyone in and around the game at all levels – elite level players, administrators, grassroot footballers and fans – should be subject to the same stringent sanctions where it has been proven that there has been racial abuse or discriminatory behaviour.

“There is a huge amount going on in the game to connect football with marginalised communities which we have seen demonstrated over the last week and will see again this weekend through the week of action in Britain and across Europe.

“We need to put a nail in the coffin of the games association with racism and focus on how we can use the sport for positive change.”