Racist behaviour in football stadiums and related guidelines for match officials is a key item on the agenda at the next meeting of the UEFA Executive Committee in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius on Wednesday and Thursday.
At its last meeting in Bucharest in May, UEFA's executive body discussed possible actions to be taken in the case of racist behaviour at any of UEFA's European matches. UEFA President Michel Platini proposed that strong and decisive action, in line with his zero tolerance approach, should be taken in terms of Law 5 of the Laws of the Game, allowing the referee to stop, suspend or abandon the match because of outside interference of any kind, and the Executive Committee will now examine more concrete guidelines for the practical implication of such action.
Additional assistant referees
Information will also be given on the deployment of additional assistant referees in the group stage of the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League. The experiment involving five match officials is to continue on the proposal of the UEFA President, following the approval of the FIFA Executive Committee at its recent meeting in Nassau, Bahamas.
Two extra assistants
Football's lawmakers, the International FA Board (IFAB), gave its permission for the continuation of the experiment at its 2009 annual general meeting earlier this year. In addition to the match referee and two assistant referees on the touchline, two extra assistants are placed behind the goalline, with the mission of focusing on incidents that happen in the penalty area, such as fouls or misconduct. The latest tests will take place in the UEFA Europa League, and will be sure to focus extra attention on this new and enhanced European club competition next season.
Club final review
A review will be undertaken of the two UEFA club competition finals last month – the UEFA Champions League final between FC Barcelona and Manchester United FC in Rome, and the last-ever UEFA Cup final between FC Shakhtar Donetsk and Werder Bremen in Istanbul.
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