FIFA to discuss "concrete proposals" to fight racism

ZURICH Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:24pm IST

FIFA President Sepp Blatter speaks during a news conference in St. Petersburg January 20, 2013. REUTERS/Alexander Demianchuk/Files

FIFA President Sepp Blatter speaks during a news conference in St. Petersburg January 20, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Alexander Demianchuk/Files

ZURICH (Reuters) - FIFA is to discuss "concrete proposals" for combating racism over the next few months and plans to put them into effect in May, soccer's governing body said on Friday.

The proposals will be chewed over by FIFA's executive committee at its next meeting in March and then presented to the annual Congress in Mauritius in May which is expected to have the final say, FIFA said.

"I am very pleased with the ideas that have evolved today and look forward to the deliberations with the executive committee next month," said FIFA president Sepp Blatter following a meeting of the strategic committee.

"The aim is to present to the FIFA Congress in Mauritius in May concrete actions, as well as strong sanctions which will really have an impact."

FIFA did not elaborate on what the proposals were.

Blatter has previously suggested that points deductions and even relegation could be used as sanctions for teams whose supporters are found guilty of racist behaviour.

Bulgaria, whose fans racially insulted a Danish player, and Hungary, whose fans were found guilty of anti-Semitic behaviour during a friendly at home to Israel, were recently ordered to play their next home World Cup qualifiers behind closed doors.

Italian authorities have drawn up plans for stopping games in cases of racism. Referees and the fourth official have been told to report incidents to public security officials who would have the final say.

(Reporting by Brian Homewood in Schladming, Austria; Editing by Justin Palmer)

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