UEFA Racism April 2013Racism has been a major problem in soccer over the years and UEFA is suggesting that players and officials who are found guilty of it should receive 10-game suspensions as a minimum.

Gianni Infantino of UEFA, Europe's governing soccer body, told the press about the plan at a recent conference in England.

He added that if a team’s fans take part in racial abuse, then those clubs will be fined and will have some of their stands closed down. If racial abuse is repeated, then all of the stands will be shut down for a specific number of games and there will be a fine of at least 50,000 Euros (about U.S. $65,500).

However, critics of the punishment point out that $65,500 is just a drop in the ocean to most professional soccer teams. Currently, players are handed five-game suspensions by UEFA if they’re found guilty of racial abuse, but not all countries follow these guidelines.

This is because UEFA can only hand out punishment in UEFA games, such as the European Champions League and the Europa League. There are 53 separate nations that belong to UEFA, but they run their own leagues independently. This is why players in the English Premier League may receive different punishment than payers in Italy’s Serie-A.

Earlier this season, Italian club AC Milan left the field after one of their players, Kevin-Prince Boateng, was racially abused by opposing fans. In the past, UEFA just used to hand out fines to guilty players and officials while individual leagues handed out suspensions.

For example, Liverpool forward Luis Suarez was given an eight-game suspension for racially abusing Patrice Evra of Manchester United and Chelsea defender was given a four-game ban for his actions.

UEFA has started to crack down on racial abuse though and several top soccer teams across Europe have been ordered to play their home games in empty stadiums. The idea behind this is to punish the fans as well as the club, since they won’t be able to sell any merchandise or tickets.

But it’s unclear if season-ticket holders are given refunds on their tickets. On the same day Infantino explained the new suspensions, Dynamo Kyiv of Ukraine was ordered by UEFA to play in an empty stadium next season as a punishment for their fans’ racial abuse of French teams Bordeaux and Paris Saint-Germain.

Infantino said he hopes the 10-game bans will serve as an adequate deterrent and eventually European soccer will be rid of racist incidents in all nations. FIFA, the world governing body of soccer, is also trying to tackle racism and it has suggested that points are deducted from club teams as a way to help solve the problem.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter said fines don’t work, but if teams lose points or are relegated to a lower division, then both players and fans will smarten up. Blatter said he didn’t like to see players leave the soccer field if they’re abused because fans could purposely hurl abuse to have games abandoned if their team is losing.

Visit www.bet365.com for the latest odds on world soccer leagues and games.


Low price, available in multiple styles and colors!