Fifa Vows To Implement Racial Legislation
Time and tides, they say, wait for no man. And that
adage could well be true when the Federation of International Football (FIFA)
starts to implement its zero policy on racism.
Racial taunting has marred football pitches and terraces in
the last few weeks with Ivorian Marc Zoro, Cameroonian
Samuel Eto’o and Ghanaian Asamoah Gyan all being the latest victims.
But the patient dog, they say, eats the fattest bone, and FIFA
has clarified the deadline they set for the implementation of a
new law that punishes clubs whose fans racially abuse players.
This comes after Italian Serie A club Inter Milan escaped with a
mere fine after some of their fans racially abused Messina's Ivorian
Marc Zoro last week and for the second time this season.
Under the new system, clubs found guilty of failing to prevent
their supporters from abusing players on racial grounds could be docked
three points for a first offence, six for a second and even relegated
in the case of repeated incidents.
The new legislation also underlines empty stadium as a tough stand
on clubs for the behaviour of their racist fans.
However, on Wednesday, Inter Milan escaped with a fine
of just US$31,000 from the Italian football authorities as punishment for
the racist behaviour of their fans during a Serie A match against
Messina on Saturday, with no hint of a points deduction.
The new ruling would come into effect immediately for those
football associations whose regulations already contain a clause
setting out the same punishment, FIFA said in a statement posted
on their website.
But other football associations that have no such rule regarding
racial abuse, such as Italy, have been given a July 1
deadline to implement the new law, Fifa said.
Zoro was subjected to monkey chants at the San Siro, leading
to speculation that Inter may be the first club to fall foul of FIFA'S
tough new laws.
A points deduction would have hit Inter Milan's
Champions League qualification hopes but observers around Europe
were stunned to
see the Italian giants let off with just a fine.
Racism has been condemned in the strongest terms possible by
human rights groups, political and religious leaders around the world.
Pope Benedict XVI was the latest high profile figure to condemn
racism during a pre-match ceremony where Italy thrashed Germany 4-1.
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