FIFA Calls on National Federations to Penalize Racist Abuse – FIFA President

FIFA is set to urge all 211 national federations to enforce strict disciplinary measures against racist abuse in football, following extensive consultations with affected players such as Vinicius Junior. The global body proposes implementing a standardized gesture—hands crossed at the wrists and raised—to signal racist incidents to referees and advocates for match forfeits as a specific punishment.

This initiative, dubbed the “five-pillar pledge on tackling racism,” will be presented to FIFA member federations at their annual meeting in Bangkok. President Gianni Infantino, who vowed to address racism in the sport months ago, has collaborated closely with Brazilian star Vinicius Junior, who has faced racial abuse while playing for Real Madrid in Spain.

In a letter to member federations, they emphasized the need for football to unite and unequivocally commit to combating racism. Additionally, FIFA aims to establish a panel of players to monitor and advise on the implementation of these anti-racism measures globally.

For over a decade, football has grappled with racism in stadiums, struggling to coordinate on-field responses and post-match disciplinary actions. FIFA’s proposal seeks to standardize a three-step process for handling racial abuse during matches, making it mandatory across all federations.

The crossed hands gesture, famously displayed by United States athlete Raven Saunders at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, is envisioned as the universal signal for referees to initiate the three-step process in response to racial abuse.

This monumental initiative underscores FIFA’s commitment to stamping out racism in football, signaling a positive step towards inclusivity and equality in the sport.

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