UEFA wants rules on tackling racism

UEFA wants rules on tackling racism

AMSTERDAM - Agence France-Presse
UEFA wants rules on tackling racism

UEFA President Michel Platini says he will standardize rules to tackle racism in Europe and congratulates Italian referee Gianluca Rocchi’s decision.

UEFA is seeking to implement Europe-wide rules on tackling racism at football matches, the organisation’s president Michel Platini has revealed, following a string of high-profile incidents this season, particularly in Italy.

Platini said that European football’s governing body will push for agreement when its members meet in London later this month on steps to take in the event of offensive chanting from the terraces.

Tougher rules

Italian referee Gianluca Rocchi had given a textbook example of how to handle such a situation by temporarily stopping the match when AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli was subjected to racist taunts from Roma fans last weekend, he added.

“I congratulate Mr Rocchi for what he did. Respect for differences is more important than winning,” Platini told AFP in an interview in Amsterdam on May 15.

“Stopping matches, making an announcement via the tannoy, even if it means halting the match if [the chanting] doesn’t stop, is what we’ve recommended for a long time. It’s worked. You stop the match, you make an announcement and if [the chanting] stops, you restart. If it doesn’t, you abandon the game.

“We’re going to propose guidelines in London at the UEFA executive committee meeting to standardize [rules], so that what we do in our competitions also happens in the leagues.”

UEFA secretary-general Gianni Infantino last month outlined sanctions to rid the game of discrimination and abuse. They include a minimum 10-match ban for players guilty of racial abuse, plus forcing clubs to play behind closed doors in the event of proven racism by fans.