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Dec 20, 2012

FA announce new anti-racism sanctions

A new anti-discrimination drive by the Football Association will punish clubs that fail to deal with racism by players, coaches or fans and could be in place by next season.

The FA is also aiming for at least 10% of referees and level one coaches to come from ethnic minority backgrounds, while players and coaches arriving from abroad will take part in mandatory induction lessons to ensure that they are aware of the British cultural environment.

Following on from a government summit in February plans will now be submitted to the government and they have already been agreed by the FA, Premier League, Football League, Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) and League Managers' Association (LMA).

FA chairman David Bernstein said: "This is a commitment on behalf of English football to ensure the game is inclusive and free of discrimination. Only by the sum of all our parts working together, will we affect further and greater change.

"This continues to be a top priority for me, as chairman of the Football Association, and I believe this action plan states our collective commitment and lays out clearly the individual actions to move forward this vital agenda." A number of high-profile incidents have led to the fruition of this plan, including cases involving Chelsea's John Terry and Liverpool's Luis Suarez as well as chants from fans of Chelsea and Sunderland.

The plan outlines that the FA would work alongside "the Premier League and Football League to sanction clubs who repeatedly fail to sanction their employees, who breach their contract or code of conduct, or deal inadequately with fans in relation to discriminatory language or behaviour."

The FA will set up an 'Inclusion Advisory Board' to oversee the plan, which will also call on UEFA to consider "minimum standard codes of conduct" as part of the European governing body's club licensing system.

The action plan states it will "review the sanctions regime to ensure that it is timely, appropriate, proportionate and effective at all levels". There have been suggestions that a minimum five-match ban will be brought in for racism. The plan also calls for the recruitment process for managers and coaches to be reviewed, with a voluntary code set up.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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