President Gianni Infantino insists FIFA will do everything in their power to stamp out racism in football after a number of high-profile incidents.
Amiens captain Prince Gouano, Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly, Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling, and Tottenham’s Danny Rose have all recently been on the receiving end of alleged racial abuse.
“In recent days, it has been very sad to see a number of racist incidents in football. This is really not acceptable. Racism has no place in football, just as it has no place in society either,” Infantino said in a FIFA statement.
“FIFA stands together with Prince Gouano, Kalidou Koulibaly, Raheem Sterling, Danny Rose, as well as any other player, coach, fan, or participant in a football match who has suffered from racism, whether at the highest professional level or in a school playground. Racism needs to end. Full stop.”
Rose and Sterling were among several players who said they suffered racist abuse during England’s Euro 2020 qualifier in Montenegro in March, while there have also been other cases in English football in recent months.
Arsenal have launched an investigation after Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly was allegedly racially abused by a supporter during their Europa League match on Thursday.
FIFA has urged national football federations and leagues to adopt their own tough rules on dealing with racism, including allowing referees to stop or abandon matches.
“We introduced the so-called “three-step procedure” at our tournaments: a mechanism that allows referees to go as far as to abandon a match in case of discriminatory incidents,” Infantino’s statement continued.
“FIFA urges all member associations, leagues, clubs, and disciplinary bodies to adopt the same procedure, as well as a zero-tolerance approach to incidents of racism in football, and to apply harsh sanctions for any such kind of behaviour.
“We will continue to be at the forefront of the fight against racism, and we guarantee to all our member associations that they have our full support in taking up this challenge. We will not hesitate to do everything in our power to eradicate racism, and any other form of discrimination, from football, at any level and anywhere in the world.”
Rose said recently that he could not wait to leave football because he had had enough of the racism in the game and was frustrated by the response of the authorities to the abuse.