UEFA Recommends 10-Match Ban For Racism, Will Carry Out Blood Testing
UEFA has recommended a minimum 10-match ban "for racist abuse by players" beginning next season and "increased the punishment for verbally or physically attacking match officials," according to Ashling O'Connor of the LONDON TIMES. The sanction for insulting an official "was raised" from a two-match ban to three and for assaulting an official from 10 to 15. The new regulations for discriminatory behavior by spectators "will result in a partial stadium closure for a first offence and a full closure for a repeat offence" coupled with a €50,000 ($64,500) fine. The proposals agreed by the exec committee "will be ratified" by UEFA’s Congress Friday (LONDON TIMES, 5/23).
BLOOD TESTING: The BBC reported UEFA "will also carry out blood testing in more competitions" next season, and "consider using biological passports." In February, Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger said that he had asked UEFA several times "to implement new drug-testing procedures." Wenger: "When you have a doping control at UEFA, they do not take blood, they take only urine. I have asked many times [at UEFA meetings] in Geneva [for that to be changed]." Previously, blood testing "has only taken place at European Championships" (BBC, 5/23).
PLAY LIKE A CHAMPION: In London, Owen Gibson reported UEFA "is set to award a place in the Champions League to the winners of the Europa League" beginning in the '14-15 season, in order to "make the competition more attractive." Other plans being considered include "whether to award a fifth Champions League place to clubs in the big European leagues and to expand the number of Europa League places on offer" (GUARDIAN, 5/23).