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By ESPN Staff
Dec 20, 2005

Blatter slams 'inadequate' racism penalties

ZURICH, Dec 20 (Reuters) - FIFA president Sepp Blatter said on Tuesday fines for racism in soccer had not been effective and called for a new tougher approach.

Blatter told a news conference he hoped to agree a unified approach with confederations and national associations with defined penalties, including docking points and excluding clubs from competitions for persistent breaches.

'It is clear that in terms of manifestations of racism a financial sanction has not been adequate to fight it,' Blatter said.

'We think we will have a unity of doctrine in the national associations and confederations and that this unity will be laid out in January.

'It will mean taking away points, or starting to take away points from the team, which could also lead to relegation, and also suspensions or exclusion.'

Five clubs received fines, albeit small ones, for racist behaviour by their fans last season.

UEFA vice-president Per Ravn Omdal said recently that clubs, players and even national associations would face expulsion if they were found guilty of sustained racism.

Blatter said FIFA was holding discussions with national federations about compensation for clubs who released players to take part in national games.

'It would only be normal and it would show a little respect to the clubs that release their players to the national team,' Blatter said.

The president also confirmed the financial health of the governing body, which has 460 million Swiss francs ($355.2 million) in reserves at present.