FIFA chief Infantino repeats call for action against racism

AC Milan's France goalkeeper Mike Maignan left the pitch during a game at Udinese last month after racist chants from the home fans

Reuters
Published : 8 Feb 2024, 12:38 PM
Updated : 8 Feb 2024, 12:38 PM

FIFA President Gianni Infantino reiterated his call for action to tackle the increase in racist incidents in football when he spoke at the UEFA Congress on Thursday.

AC Milan's France goalkeeper Mike Maignan left the pitch during a game at Udinese last month after racist chants from the home fans, while Coventry City's Kasey Palmer said he was the target of racist abuse by some Sheffield Wednesday supporters.

The incidents were described at the time as "totally abhorrent" by Infantino, who added that clubs should face automatic defeat if their fans displayed racist behaviour.

"We live in a divided world, we say that football unites the world, but our world is divided, our world is aggressive, and in the last few weeks and months we have witnessed, unfortunately, a lot of racist incidents," he said on Thursday.

"This is not acceptable anymore and we have to do whatever we can to stop this."

Infantino noted again that football has some tools in place, such as the three-step process where the referee can stop a game twice and ultimately abandon it, plus disciplinary measures and education, but said these were not enough.

"What I suggest in addition to all this is that we work all together in the next three months before the FIFA Congress in May in Bangkok," Infantino said.

"And at the Congress we come all together with a strong resolution, united, all 211 countries of FIFA, for the fight against racism.

"Let's stop racism, let's stop it now, let's do it all together in a united way."