UEFA says it will not rest until racist attitudes have disappeared from football, and has promised tough sanctions to stamp out racist conduct, including the exclusion of clubs from UEFA competitions.
Threat of punishment
The threat of punishment for racist behaviour on or off the field is one of a number of key messages on the issue that European football's governing body has been conveying at recent gatherings.
The message has again been in the spotlight in Brussels this week, with members of the European Parliament launching a declaration condemning racism in football, and praising UEFA and its partner, the Football Against Racism in Europe network, for its anti-racism campaigning. UEFA vice-president Per Ravn Omdal, and communications and public affairs director William Gaillard, have been ensuring the decision-makers in Brussels get UEFA's message that racism has no place in football.
- UEFA will not tolerate racism. We will not rest until racist attitudes have disappeared from both the field and the stadium. Our sport's massive popularity gives the football family a special responsibility to tackle the problem, and UEFA leads these efforts at European level.
- UEFA takes disciplinary action against all associations, clubs and individuals that fail to keep racism out of the game. We sanction all offences with a range of fines that increase as the incident become more serious. We force persistent offenders to play their games behind closed doors or in another stadium altogether. We also reserve the ultimate sanction of ejecting clubs from our competitions.
- UEFA believes that sanctions are not enough: we must do everything possible to prevent the problem in the first place. Therefore, UEFA has intensified its work in recent years, especially with FARE.
- At national level, UEFA has allocated almost €2m to help fund the anti-racist programmes of its 52 national member associations. This money comes from the fines that UEFA imposes on clubs and players for all forms of misbehaviour during our games.
- But racism is a problem that no one organisation can tackle alone. We all have to work together, inside the football family, and between football, governments and third parties. UEFA has developed excellent working relations with all the EU institutions, including the European Parliament. The Declaration is one more example of our close co-operation in a number of areas.
- Today, there is a lively debate in UEFA about how best to tackle racism. The Declaration brings new and welcome input into that debate. UEFA and its 52 members will take note of the Declaration and put it into action.
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