UEFA President Alexander Ceferin has revealed players could yet be thrown out of the Champions League or the European Championships for racism.
The Slovenian spoke in response to the challenge to hammer stars with the same energy that he angrily used to threaten them with a ban – from both competitions – for playing in the aborted Super League this week.
Ceferin told Mirror Sport: “We can do it. The sanctions for racism, for example, can be the same.
“We can forbid them to play our competition.
“We can do that. We are ready to do any sanction and you know well that we discuss that many times.
“We are committed to doing it. And I think we are improving. It’s not an easy fight but we will do whatever we can.”
UEFA’s rules state the punishment for racist abuse should be “at least 10 matches”,
Football’s rulers, in England, Europe and worldwide, have been accused of being slow to act on racism because there is no money in it.
Leeds striker Patrick Bamford articulated the concerns of players across the game after his club’s 1-1 draw with Liverpool last Monday night.
Bamford said: “It is amazing the uproar that comes into the game when someone’s pocket is being hurt. It is a shame it isn’t like that with other things going wrong at the minute, like racism.”
Two weeks ago, Valencia’s players walked off the pitch in solidarity with defender Mouctar Diakhaby, who alleged he’d been racially abused by Cadiz player Juan Cala.
Back in December PSG’s players also walked off in solidarity with Turkish club Basaksehir after they believed they’d heard a racist slur from a match official.
Romanian fourth official Sebastian Coltescu was subsequently suspended until the end of the season.
Slavia Prague defender Ondrej Kudela was banned this month for ten games after he racially abused Rangers’ Glen Kamara in their Europa League tie.
The suspension is longer than any handed out in the five major European leagues. But Kamara’s camp claim – and many critics – claim it does not go far enough.
Ceferin insisted the fight racism now requires unity inside and outside the game if it is to succeed.
He added: “We don’t want racism in football. We don’t want sexism, homophobia, any discrimination. And we will fiercely fight it.
“We do fight it. Many people say: ‘Yeah, but you just sanction them’. But what can we do?
“We need help too from governments. We need help from society. Children should be raised properly and understand that you have good and bad people in the world. That different religions, colours, everything else should be respected.
“So it’s a societal thing. We will do our part but governments should do their part and all the institutions.”
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