August 1, 2019 / 4:40 AM / in 24 days

FA increases minimum ban for racist abuse to six matches

(Reuters) - The English Football Association has increased its mandatory minimum ban for first-time offenders found guilty of discriminatory behaviour to six matches from five ahead of the 2019-2020 season.

The move follows an annual report from British anti-discriminatory body Kick It Out that showed a 43% rise in reports of racist abuse in English football last season.

Chelsea banned a supporter for life last week for racially abusing winger Raheem Sterling during last season’s Premier League home match against Manchester City.

World soccer governing body FIFA doubled its minimum ban for racism to 10 games last month as soccer’s authorities attempt to clamp down after a number of high profile incidents in domestic and international football.

The FA’s six-game ban can be increased “depending on any additional aggravating factors” and it is also in talks with various stakeholders about how best to combat discrimination on and off the pitch.

“As part of this, The FA is reviewing what the minimum match-based suspension for proven cases of discrimination should be to ensure the deterrent in place is appropriate and effective,” the FA said in a statement.

The FA also revealed it had given match officials the authority to show managers and backroom staff yellow and red cards, representing cautions and dismissals, respectively.

Any member of a team’s technical staff who accumulates four yellow cards during the season will receive an automatic one-game touchline ban, while eight yellows will earn the offender a two-match suspension.

An individual who accrues 16 yellows during the season will be charged with misconduct and have to face an independent regulatory commission.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Jennings

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