FIFA to create racism league table

FIFA plans to create an international league table of countries which have problems with racism and discrimination in sports.

FIFA delegate Tokyo Sexwale told a United Nations forum on racism and football that the global “barometer” is “very key” to the governing body’s work against discrimination.

“The barometer is going to tell that society that the conduct of your sporting people is bringing your country down,” Sexwale, a member of FIFA’s Task Force against Racism and Discrimination said.

“I don’t think anybody here would like to be low on the barometer.”

The South African former anti-apartheid activist said FIFA will organise a summit on racism next year with the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

“We are taking the bull by the horns beyond football in recognition of the fact that FIFA has taken the lead once again,” he said.

UEFA president Michel Platini said that football must lead the fight against racism inside and outside of the game,

“With extraordinary popularity comes responsibility,” Platini told campaigners and diplomats at a session on racism and sport hosted by the UN’s European offices in Geneva.

“Football is honour-bound, by virtue of that very popularity, to promote values which are able to make society more tolerant of diversity,” he said. “Those who govern our game have a duty to protect players, who are in their workplace, against all forms of discrimination.

“Today’s football does not tolerate any discrimination, whether it be racial, cultural, religious, sexist or homophobic, and there’s no hierarchy of evil,” he added.

But with high-profile cases continuing to hit the headlines – most recently in Great Britain, Italy and Ukraine – campaigners argue that more effort is needed.

“There’s a real problem with racism in some regions of Europe, for sure,” added Platini. “This behaviour is largely down to small organised groups who choose to express their hatred in a football stadium in order to take advantage of the popularity and media coverage enjoyed by our sport.”

“Football reflects society’s values but also, unfortunately, its prejudices, fears and mistrust.

Football is just the tip of the iceberg in societies in which, given the current crisis, the process of social integration is breaking down. But it’s precisely because football is often more open to diversity than wider society that it enables advance that would be more difficult in other areas.”