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SBD Global/May 17, 2013/International Football

Football Association Votes To Implement Minimum Five-Match Ban For Racial Abuse

The FA "has voted to introduce a minimum ban of five matches for any player found to have racially abused an opponent," in the wake of the furore over the John Terry and Luis Suárez incidents, according to Owen Gibson of the London GUARDIAN. The proposal, accepted at the FA's annual general meeting at Wembley on Thursday, "threatens to leave the governing body out of step" with UEFA if it pursues its own plans for a 10-match minimum ban. However, serious transgressions can attract "significantly higher" suspensions than the new five-match entry level. A second offence by the same individual "will attract a minimum 10-game ban" (GUARDIAN, 5/16). The BBC's Richard Conway reported clubs may also be charged if "two or more of their employees are sanctioned for discriminatory abuse in any 12-month period." Charges "will be brought in the event of discrimination on the field of play relating to ethnic origin, colour, race, religion or belief, gender, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, ability and disability" (BBC, 5/16).

FACING EMBARRASSMENT: The PA's Martyn Ziegler reported there is "potential embarrassment for the FA" given that it is hosting UEFA's Congress in London next week. UEFA "will submit a resolution recommending that all member associations follow its lead on 10 matches." European anti-racism body FARE Exec Dir Piara Powar and a member of FIFA's new anti-racism task force said, "As someone working across borders to promote anti-discrimination, I think it's a shame it can't be the 10 games UEFA say they will implement in their own competitions and that they are recommending all national associations will adopt" (PA, 5/16). INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL's Andrew Warshaw wrote FIFA's anti-racism and discrimination task force Chair Jeffrey Webb "has issued his own scathing indictment of the Italian authorities for only fining Roma over last weekend's racist abuse by their fans towards three Milan players." In a statement, Webb said, "As stated by FIFA President Joseph Blatter, the decision of the Italian Football Federation's Disciplinary Committee to impose only a €50,000 ($65,000) fine on Roma for the racist actions of its supporters during a match at AC Milan on Sunday, without further investigation, is completely unacceptable" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 5/16).
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