FIFA adopted tough new measures in soccer's fight against racism yesterday when delegates at its Congress approved their introduction by 204 votes to one.
The proposals, introduced by Jeffrey Webb, the CONCACAF president and chairman of the Anti-Racism and Discrimination Task Force, constitute a number of new sanctions.
They include the possibility of points deductions and expulsions from competitions or relegation, the introduction of anti-discriminatory officers at games, a minimum five-match ban against players guilty of racial abuse, tougher minimum financial penalties and the introduction of a hotline for players and fans to report incidents of racism.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter expressed surprise that one vote went against the proposals before dismissing it as an electronic voting error.
In his presidential address to the Congress earlier yesterday, Blatter said there was no longer any room for racism in soccer and it would not be tolerated.
“There have been some despicable offences this year that have cast a long shadow over football. I am speaking about the politics of hate racism, ignorance, discrimination, intolerance and small-minded prejudice, ” the Swiss said.