Blatter insists FIFA ready to hit racists hard

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has vowed to crackdown on racism in football.

Story highlights

  • FIFA threatens more hard-line approach to racism
  • FIFA president Sepp Blatter says clubs could be hit with points deduction or relegation if found guilty
  • UEFA president Michel Platini has also recently insistedhis organization will get tough with racism
  • Frenchman Platini has backed stance taken by AC Milan's Kevin Prince-Boateng

World football's governing body is threatening to take a more hard-line approach to racist abuse after FIFA president Sepp Blatter called for clubs to be punished with points deductions and relegation if they are found guilty.

Since AC Milan forward Kevin-Prince Boateng walked off the pitch in a friendly match earlier this month, both FIFA and Europe's governing body have faced criticism over their perceived leniency towards players being racially abused.

"It is not enough to give a fine," Blatter told "Playing a game without spectators is one of the possible sanctions, but the best would be the deduction of points and the relegation of a team, because finally the club is responsible for their spectators."

Blatter's stance is something of a volte-face given two years ago he said racism did not exist in football and that any problems could be solved with a handshake.

But the 76-year-old, who has spent the past 15 years in charge of FIFA, has changed his view following a number of recent unsavory incidents.

Italy presses charges after AC Milan soccer racism

"It is a phenomena where football is a victim of our society," added Blatter.

Boateng: We can't ignore racism
Boateng: We can't ignore racism


    Boateng: We can't ignore racism


Boateng: We can't ignore racism 04:34
PFA chairman: Serbia should be banned
PFA chairman: Serbia should be banned


    PFA chairman: Serbia should be banned


PFA chairman: Serbia should be banned 01:15
Speaking out against racism in football
Speaking out against racism in football


    Speaking out against racism in football


Speaking out against racism in football 02:20

"Discrimination and racism is everywhere in our society. We in football cannot be made responsible for what happens in our society.

"But nowhere in the world -- regarding all the problems you can have in your private life, in business, in politics -- can you solve a problem by running away.

"I agree with and support the movement of Boateng -- as I have said -- as it was a strong warning. It is now up to us to take the adequate steps.

"What I feel we should do is give instructions to our national associations and the confederations -- specifically to the disciplinary committees -- to be very strong."

The ugly face of racism has reared its head far too often over the past 18 months with several high-profile incidents catching the headlines.

Suarez fined, suspended over racist remarks

In December 2011, Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was hit with an eight-match suspension and $63,000 fine after being found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra.

Last September, Chelsea captain John Terry was given a four-game ban and fined $347,000 for racially abusing Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand.

Then in October 2012, England's Under-21 players were subjected to racist chanting during the European Championship qualifier in Krusevac.

The punishment of a $105,000 fine and the order to play one under-21 match behind closed doors handed out by UEFA's disciplinary commission was then appealed by the organization as it was seen to be too lenient.

UEFA appeals Serbia sanctions

However in an interview with French radio station RTL, UEFA president Michel Platini insisted the European governing body was in great shape to tackle racism.

Former Polish striker condemns racism
Former Polish striker condemns racism


    Former Polish striker condemns racism


Former Polish striker condemns racism 03:09

"We have put rules in place with the referees in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League," said the Frenchman.

Earlier this month FIFA imposed a one-match spectator ban on Bulgaria for racist abuse by their fans of a Denmark player. It was the first time the body had imposed anything more than a fine for racism

Boateng makes racism walkout vow

Prince-Boateng walked off the field of play after being subjected to racist chanting by supporters during a friendly game at fourth-tier club Pro Patria.

Speaking to CNN in an exclusive interview following the incident, the Milan midfielder insisted he would walk off the field again if he was subjected to more racist chanting.

""If it happens again I'm not going to play anymore," he said.

"The referee said: 'Don't worry' but I said I do worry, it's not very nice.

"I was angry and I was sad, but it all came together and I said I don't want to play anymore. There were so many negative emotions that came up with me.

"I'm surprised we're still hearing these things in 2013. It's not the first time in my life that I've heard these things, but I'm 25 now and I've had enough this bulls***."

Boateng's decision to walk off the field was applauded by Platini, who told RTL: "I appreciated this very much. I also sent a message of congratulations to AC Milan's [vice-president] Mr Galliani. I found [the decision] a good thing to do."

      Football Focus

    • French football great bids adieu

      After 20 years, more than 300 goals and a host of major honors, Thierry Henry has called time on his glittering football career.
    • Mario's 'Queen' tweet tops 2014 list

      He might be struggling to score goals for Liverpool, but Mario Balotelli's cheeky tweet about the British monarch hit the spot during the World Cup.
    • bpr south african soccor senzo meyiwa death _00000402.jpg

      Loss of a South African 'icon'

      Football world mourns South African captain Senzo Meyiwa who was shot and killed during a botched robbery in a township near Johannesburg.
    • German alleged jihadist Kreshnik B (R) listens to his lawyer Mutlu Guenal (L) as he arrives at the higher regional court in Frankfurt. His face is pixelated for legal reasons.

      From Jewish football to ISIS suspect

      Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
    • Where has 'Super' Mario gone?

      One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
    • Ched Evans smiles during the Wales training session ahead of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against England on March 25, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales.

      Should rapist return to work?

      Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
    • Teen, 15, makes Euro history

      Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.