UEFA racism ruling backed

Thu, 07 Jun 07:08:59 2012

Anti-racism campaigners have backed UEFA's stance on racist abuse at the European Championship, despite Michel Platini's mixed messages on the matter.

UEFA president Platini has confirmed referees had been instructed to call a halt to matches at this summer's tournament if a player was racially taunted. But he warned any player who otherwise left the field in protest over abuse from the stands would be yellow carded.

But Piara Powar, the executive director of Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE), was confident European football's governing body would not hesitate to expel teams from Euro 2012 if necessary. He said: "For us, the UEFA system is three strikes and you're out."

He added: "Fine and then another fine and then a ban or forcing teams to play behind closed doors.

"If the system is in full effect, we could have a team kicked out of the competition for far-right banners."

"There is no question we are worried about this tournament more than any other.

"I think Platini understands what is going on.

"There is actually a process in place where we have 31 independent international monitors.

"It is the job of these guys not to just look out for the obvious racism but the nuanced issues.

"It is certainly not the job of the referee to pick out banners and discriminatory chants."


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