England vice-captain Rio Ferdinand has slammed Fifa’s approach to racist behaviour among fans, accusing world football’s governing body of weakness.
Croatia fans verbally abused England players, and Emile Heskey in particular, during England’s 4-1 win in Zagreb last month, resulting in the Croatian FA being fined £15,000.
However, Ferdinand told BBC Radio 5 Live: “Fifa make comments about what they will do but never back it up with actions.
“The football authorities need to take a look at themselves.
“Croatia were fined a few thousand quid. What’s that going to do? That is not going to stop people shouting racist or homophobic abuse.
“(Fifa president) Sepp Blatter likes to speak up about things that are good for Fifa’s image but I would love to see them stand up and dish out the right punishments for these incidents.
“If things like this keep happening you have to take points off them. Then the punters will realise the team is going to be punished.”
Fifa replied in a statement: “Fifa and Fifa president Joseph Blatter take the fight against racism in football very seriously.
“Fifa not only speaks very clearly about this issue, but carries out several campaigns and projects.”
Ferdinand was also quizzed about the abuse directed at Portsmouth defender Sol Campbell by Tottenham fans at Fratton Park last week.
“The high-tech cameras should be able to pick up the people who are doing that kind of stuff and eject them from the ground,” said the Manchester United defender. “That is the only way I can see to stop it happening.
“We are talking about a football match. There are young kids present who want to be entertained, not hear someone a couple of rows back slagging players off.”
Portsmouth reported the alleged abuse at Fratton Park to the Football Association, who said it would issue life bans to any fan it could prove was connected.