FIFA Set to Double Minimum Suspensions for Racist Incidents in Disciplinary Code Update

FIFA is set to update its disciplinary rules in an attempt to get tougher on racism in football following a number of high-profile incidents during the 2018/19 season.  These rules will include doubling the minimum number of games a player or official will miss for a racist incident to 10 games, while FIFA will also invite players to make ‘victim statements’ at disciplinary hearings. While the new code seeks to prevent and further punish racism on the field with the change to the minimum ban, there is also an renewed effort to fight abuse in the stands. Last season was marred by many by a number of high profile incidents occurred of abuse from fans. This included England internationals ​Danny Rose, ​Raheem Sterling and Callum Hudson-Odoi being on the receiving end of abuse by Montenegro fans. ​Juventus forward Moise Kean was also the subject of abuse by fans while playing away at Cagliari. Serie A ended up not sanctioning fans for their actions while Leonardo Bonnuci shockingly claimed that his young teammate was partly to blame. While FIFA already has a three-stage process for referees – leading to games being abandoned – in cases of fan abuse, all 2022 World Cup qualifying games will also be attended by Fare observers who will assess the risk of discrimination. It is also noted that FIFA wants abandoned games forfeited as a 3-0 loss. As quoted by AP News, FIFA stated, “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. “FIFA will not let down victims of racist abuse (who) 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) shall be imposed on the association or club concerned.”

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