FIFA president Sepp Blatter believes football should get much tougher on incidents of racism within football, even going as far as saying the sport should ‘have the courage’ to relegate sides as a punishment.
Speaking to members of the South American confederation CONMEBOL, Blatter said clubs linked to offending fans need to have points deducted and even be relegated.
Blatter’s comments came on the same day Peruvian club Cienciano was fined more than $12,000 and ordered to play a match behind closed doors after some of their supporters racially insulted Panamanian striker Luis Tejada. The player walked off in disgust at his treatment.
The player criticised Peru’s football authorities for doing nothing to stop racism in the country.
“I leave this in the hands of the authorities so they can do something to end this racism,” Tejada wrote on his website. “We’re not advancing and it’s the same thing over and over. For how long?”
Blatter, alluding to the incident, said: “The biggest problem we’ve had in recent days here in this continent is racism, discrimination. It does not respect the human beings through these demonstrations which are discriminatory.
“And one day we should be an example. Being an example doesn’t mean just shutting down a stadium or issuing a fine, a financial penalty, no. It means deducting points, relegating a team. The moment we have the courage to do that, discrimination will stop.”
The 78-year-old also discussed the idea of introducing an extra substitution in football matches, but said the the IFAB board had not taken a vote on the issue.
Blatter said: “As far as the question about the a fourth substitution; the International Football Association Board, which met last week in Belfast, this question – which was proposed by the CONMEBOL (South American Football Confederation) and some national federations – was talked about.
“There are eight votes in this union; four British and four from FIFA. There was no need to vote because it wasn’t discussed and it is not opportune at the moment to get into the issue.”