UEFA President Michel Platini has sent out a strong message against racism, in the wake of discussions by UEFA's Executive Committee on possible action to be taken in the event of racist conduct at UEFA matches.
Zero tolerance approach
At its meeting in Bucharest on Tuesday and Wednesday, the committee agreed with Mr Platini that a zero tolerance approach should be taken in terms of Law 5 of the Laws of the Game – allowing match officials to stop, suspend, or abandon the match because of outside interference of any kind.
Insult to human dignity
Mr Platini said he shared his indignation with the Executive Committee at the various racist incidents that had tarnished the football season in some European countries. "These incidents are an insult to human dignity that UEFA can neither tolerate nor pass over in silence. To remain silent on such an issue would amount to complicity," he said.
The Executive Committee has agreed to the disciplinary rules being clarified on the basis of the Laws of the Game so as to allow the referee to stop, suspend, or ultimately abandon a match if the behaviour of the crowd means that the dignity of the players can no longer be protected. Concrete measures will be submitted to the Executive Committee for consideration at its meeting in Vilnius in July. The UEFA President reaffirmed UEFA's strong commitment to fighting racism.
The Executive Committee, chaired by Mr Platini, was meeting for the first time in its new lineup, following the election of seven new members at the XXXIII Ordinary UEFA Congress in Copenhagen in March. (Click here for details.)
Monaco Charity Award
On Tuesday, the Executive Committee approved the annual UEFA Monaco Charity Award for 2009. A cheque for CHF 1 million is to be presented to the UK National Association of Disabled Supporters (NADS) for a four-year development programme for their Centre for Access to Football in Europe (CAFE) project.
The committee agreed that Wednesday 19 May 2010 – during the week building up to the first UEFA Champions League final to be played on a Saturday – should be designated UEFA Grassroots Day 2010, in order to celebrate and embrace grassroots football across Europe. The 2010 UEFA Champions League final will be played in Madrid. (Click here for details.)
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