Webb spearheads anti-discrimination

| 06/05/2013

81c692ddc64f8a062a0f6a70670090d8 (250x300).jpg(CNS): FIFA Vice President, CONCACAF President and Cayman's own  Jeff Webb chaired the first meeting of the newly created FIFA Task Force Against Racism and Discrimination in Zürich Monday which has come up with a number of ideas for dealing with racism in the game. The task force has suggested introducing an official at games designated purely to identify acts of discrimination and evidence, applying sanctions in two stages and having clubs take responsibility for the action of players, officials and supporters with concrete action plans on how they will fight racisim.

The meeting focused on the current debate over the application of sanctions in cases of racist and discriminative incident and meeting included representatives from the football committee and a panel of experts on the fight against racism and discrimination.

During the session the need to send a strong message of zero tolerance towards discrimination within football, making sure social justice and racial integration is implemented at all levels of the football community, was emphasised.

“We have a special responsibility in the way we can impact football and society,” said Webb during his opening remarks. “One of the opportunities this task force has is its vast reach throughout FIFA’s 209 member associations where we can implement the resolutions in every region and every country where football is played, bringing universality to the mechanisms that combat racism and discrimination.”

The task force came up with several proposals which will be included in a draft resolution to be presented at the FIFA Congress in Mauritius at the end of May

The first proposal includes having an official at the stadium who wouldidentify potential acts of discrimination with the aim of easing the pressure on referees and facilitating the availability of evidence, which is not always easy to obtain, for the disciplinary committees to take decisions;

Secondly, the task force suggested applying sanctions in two stages, with a list of applicable sanctions for a first or a minor offence, such as a warning, a fine, or the playing of a match behind closed doors, and a list of stronger sanctions for reoffenders or for serious incidents, such as point deductions, expulsion from a competition, or relegation;

And thirdly, the responsibility of member associations and clubs for the actions of their players, officials and supporters was highlighted. The task force called for the implementation of the existing sanctions in a harmonised way across all confederations, member associations and leagues, with a proposal to request that clubs and member associations provide a concrete action plan showing their intention to fight any forms of racism and discrimination among their supporters.

At its next meeting the Task Force will focus on education and prevention, which is the second objective that was set when the group was created.


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