Europe steps up racism fight

The various bodies that run European football have agreed to press for tougher sanctions to combat racism in the game.

Last Updated: 28/03/13 at 12:59 Post Comment

The Professional Football Strategy Council, (PFSC) an umbrella group comprising UEFA associations, European leagues, clubs and players' representatives, unanimously agreed to call for stricter penalties at a meeting in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Clubs and national football associations whose fans or players are found guilty of racist behaviour will also have to prove what actions they are taking to deal with the problem.

A statement released by the PFSC read: "The Professional Football Strategy Council supports a zero tolerance policy and steps up the fight against racism in football by approving the following resolution. "

"The Professional Football Strategy Council recognises that many countries have taken significant and successful action but that such incidents remain widespread on our continent.

"(It) calls on UEFA, national associations and leagues to legislate for stricter sanctions for racism.

"(The PFSC) calls on disciplinary bodies to apply such stricter sanctions for cases of proven racism and to seek ways of obliging those sanctioned to take future preventative action."

"Finally, the Professional Football Strategy Council acknowledges that racism is one form of discrimination, but that, unfortunately, other forms of discrimination also manifest themselves from time to time in football.

"It expresses its full and unconditional opposition to any form of discrimination."

At the same meeting, the PFSC also agreed on a series of measures to fight match-fixing and corruption.

The measures include introducing "sports fraud" as a specific criminal offence in Europe and closer cooperation between police, investigating and prosecuting authorities and betting companies.

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