UEFA President Michel Platini has written to all European associations to urge them to combat violence within the game.
Platini has made reducing violence on and off the pitch a priority. Last week, he met with government and police experts from around Europe to ask for help in dealing an issue which he fears is threatening the game.
“Our game is under serious threat – from violence,” Platini wrote. “Violence on the field, in the stands and outside stadiums is poisoning football.”
The letter, published on UEFA’s web site referred to problems “from all corners of Europe” that were becoming increasingly commonplace.
Platini urged football associations across the continent to adopt a policy of “zero tolerance” against violence and racism.
“The behavior of certain players and team officials puts football to shame,” Platini continued.
“Violence, abuse and gratuitous insults have become the order of the day in football. This has to stop.”