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May 24, 2013

FIFA plans 5-match racism ban

FIFA is set to follow England's lead and bring in a mandatory five-match ban for players found guilty of racism plus points deductions for clubs where fans are serial offenders.

The sanction is being proposed by FIFA's new task force on racism and if agreed by the world governing body's congress next week, all 209 countries will have to adopt the rule.

The proposals have not been published but sources have confirmed they include a five-game ban for on-the-pitch racism.

That is not as stringent as the 10-match sanction for European competitions agreed by UEFA's congress today, but rules punishing racist abuse by fans will be stricter and include points deductions.

FIFA's task force chairman Jeffrey Webb would not confirm the five-match proposal but said there should be minimum sanctions to ensure consistency across the world.

Asked about the five-match ban, he said: "I can't speak about that yet.

"We're looking at making sure that is spread across the 209 member associations and, regardless of what UEFA does or CONCACAF does, from a global standpoint, there must be certain minimum standards. "It's time to make people accountable. It's points deduction, it's relegation, it's expulsion from competitions.

"Finally, we're having some action on this. This is something that's long overdue."

"FIFA must set the minimum standard and say, 'These are the sanctions', and if you infringe on this, these are the consequences.

"Our resolution will outline to them what we expect there to be from a minimum standpoint."

UEFA's 53 member associations agreed on sanctions for European matches at its congress in London. As well as a 10-match ban for players and officials, racism by fans will be punished by partial stadium closure for a first offence, with a full stadium closure for a second offence.

UEFA president Michel Platini said: "This is a great moment in our struggle against racism."

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