FA chief wants tougher rules to tackle racism

Updated April 03, 2019

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Football Association chairman Greg Clarke called for zero tolerance on racism on Tuesday and said it needed to be easier for referees to stop a game and take players off the pitch if racially abused. — AFP/File
Football Association chairman Greg Clarke called for zero tolerance on racism on Tuesday and said it needed to be easier for referees to stop a game and take players off the pitch if racially abused. — AFP/File

LONDON: Football Association chairman Greg Clarke called for zero tolerance on racism on Tuesday and said it needed to be easier for referees to stop a game and take players off the pitch if racially abused.

Addressing an Equal Game conference organised by European football body UEFA at Wembley Stadium, Clarke said he had rewritten a planned speech after racist abuse of England players in Montenegro last week.

He said UEFA’s three-step protocol on tackling racism could be improved.

The protocol allows the referee to stop a match if ‘racist behaviour is of a strong magnitude and intensity’.

“There should be no judgement call on whether something is of a strong magnitude,” said Clarke. “Racism is racism and we should have zero tolerance for it.”

England defender Danny Rose was subjected to monkey chants during the Euro 2020 qualifier won 5-1 by his side in Podgorica while Raheem Sterling was also targeted.

Clarke said the protocol was designed to deal with mass chanting but abuse from one fan should be enough for the referee to act.

Published in Dawn, April 3rd, 2019