FIFA President Sepp Blatter Condemns 'Racist' La Liga Real Betis Supporters
FIFA President Sepp Blatter has condemned La Liga Real Betis fans "who apparently directed racist chants at their own player Paulao after he was sent off in Sunday's 4-0 derby defeat at Sevilla," according to Iain Rodgers of REUTERS. A group of Betis fans were briefly shown on Spanish TV "making what appeared to be monkey chants at Paulao after he was dismissed shortly before halftime at the Sanchez Pizjuan." The incident "was not mentioned in the referee's match report." Blatter Tweeted on Tuesday, "Sickened to learn of 'fans' racially abusing a Real Betis player. I condemn their actions, which were seen on TV/online by millions." Blatter added, "FIFA's members approved a resolution at congress in May to tackle discrimination. It's time for tougher sanctions" (REUTERS, 11/26). The BBC reported FIFA agreed in May that evidence of racism should be punished with a warning, a fine and/or the playing of a match behind closed doors for "a first or a minor offence." FIFA said, "For re-offenders or for serious incidents, sanctions such as point deductions, expulsion from a competition or relegation should be applied." Any person found guilty of a racist offence "would be suspended for at least five matches and given a stadium ban" (BBC, 11/26).