CONCACAF adopts measures to tackle racism

| 13/01/2014

(CNS): The executive committee of the region’s football governing body has passed a protocol for dealing with racist incidents during matches in CONCACAF tournaments which is effective immediately. The protocol outlines a three-stage method for dealing with any serious racist or discriminatory behaviour in all football stadiums within the federation including racist chants, insults, screams or banners. “Even though the history of CONCACAF shows a great track record when it comes to diversity on the field, the Confederation is committed to creating standards to continue promoting good practice across the region,” said CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb.

Congratulating the 41 member football associations for safeguarding a culture of diversity within football, Webb, the boss of Cayman’s own footballing body and VP of FIFA, who spearheaded the campaign to root out racism in football, explained that there is now a clear system for handling any racist incident.

“The procedure outlines a clear and precise approach of zero tolerance for racist or discriminatory incidents that may arise during matches,” said Webb, the Chairman of the FIFA Anti-Racism and Discrimination Task Force. “By safeguarding the basic principle of respect amongst all individuals in our stadiums, we hope to make sure that nothing steers the focus away from the talent displayed by our players during each game.”

Under the protocol and as a first phase, when a referee becomes aware of serious racist and/or discriminatory behaviour committed in a stadium, he or she shall first stop the game and order a stadium announcement urging the behaviour to cease. As a second phase and if the behaviour continues, the referee shall suspend the game for 5-10 minutes and send the teams to the dressing room while another stadium announcement is made. Finally, and if the behaviour continues, the third phase shall consist, as a very last resort, in the referee declaring the match abandoned.

CONCACAF will provide training to Integrity Officers, Match Commissioners and Referees to assist in monitoring for incidents during high risk games. However, referees will ultimately be responsible for implementing the approved protocol during each game played throughout the Confederation’s tournaments. Regardless of whether a game is declared as suspended or abandoned, CONCACAF’s Disciplinary Committee will still establish whether disciplinary measures should be imposed to sanction the undesirable incidents.

Sessions on awareness of diversity and discrimination issues will be included in CONCACAF’s ongoing grassroots development courses and other training for coaches, referees and officials across the region, starting with the program in St. Lucia on 25 January 25th.

The Embrace Diversity campaign was created to provide a strong, recognized, effective and influential voice to promote inclusion and tolerance within the football community and society.

The full text of the Protocol for Racist Incidents during Matches is available here.


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  1. Anonymous says:

    To change the nature of man is to change the very fiber of his being.

    Good luck with that!!

    • Anonymous says:

      No doubt 2 centuries ago your forebears were sayng the same thing about slavery.

  2. George Weah of BT says:

    Racism is not an issue in the CONCACAF region.

    It is the plague of European football and it's societies. Don't pause the match and make silly announcements. Start by deducting points if it is a league match and levy serious fines against the clubs or national teams who have failed to control its supporters. Real fines like £200,000 against the clubs and 2 months wages against offending players. Look at what the NFL does to penalise players,coaches and franchises.