FIFA announces tougher sanctions on racism, homophobia

Johannesburg – In an effort to stamp out racism in the beautiful game of football, FIFA announced that players will now be suspended for at least 10 games for discriminatory behaviour under FIFA’s new disciplinary code.

“Topics like racism and discrimination have been updated, putting FIFA at the forefront of the fight against this appalling attack on the fundamental human rights of individuals,” the organisation said in a statement earlier this week.

The minimum ban for players or officials rises from five to 10 games, and victims can soon be heard in person by FIFA judging panels.

“FIFA will not let down victims of racist abuse,” said the statement, adding they “may be invited by the respective judicial body to make an oral or written victim impact statement”.

“For a first offence, playing a match with a limited number of spectators and a fine of at least 20,000 Swiss francs ($20,000) (R328 306) shall be imposed on the association or club concerned,” FIFA said.

FIFA is also preparing to open the doors of some judicial hearings, offer free legal counsel to parties, and publish more verdicts online.

“For the first time, certain types of disciplinary hearings – concerning doping and match-manipulation cases – will be open to the public if the parties request it,” FIFA said.

To modernise and improve its work, FIFA worked with football’s leading discrimination monitoring group, London-based Fare network.

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