Gianni Infantino insists FIFA frowns at racism

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FIFA President Gianni Infantino has emphasized the need for a “zero tolerance” stance on racism in football and has called for referees at all levels to take immediate action by halting matches if incidents of racism occur.

Infantino recently had a meeting with Vinicius Junior, the Brazilian player from Real Madrid, to discuss the issue after Vinicius publicly spoke out about being subjected to racial abuse during matches. The FIFA President strongly condemned those responsible for such acts of racism, labeling them as “criminals,” and emphasized that football authorities must shoulder the responsibility of addressing this problem.

Real Madrid, in an effort to combat racial abuse, lodged a complaint with the Spanish State Attorney General’s Office last month, asserting that the racist treatment of Vinicius amounted to a hate crime. The player had been targeted with racial abuse during Real Madrid’s LaLiga defeat against Valencia.

Infantino’s insistence on a “zero tolerance” approach to racism in football highlights the need for swift action and a united front against this issue at all levels of the sport.

“It’s very important not just to talk about racism and discrimination, but to take action in a decisive and convincing manner – zero tolerance,” Infantino said after meeting Vinicius and the rest of the Brazil squad in Barcelona.

“There is no football if there is racism – so let’s stop the games.

“The referees have this opportunity in FIFA competitions as we have this process for stopping the game, and actions have to be taken at every level, at national level as well.

“It’s a football-related problem and we mustn’t look for excuses like: ‘It’s society’s problem, therefore, it’s fine in football.’ In the world of football, we must act in a very forceful way.

“We want to identify racists in stadiums and across social media. They are criminals. They have to be banned from stadiums across the globe.

“The authorities need to take these people to court and we will say this to all of them. Racism is a crime.”

Infantino said FIFA would set up a task force, with Vinicius taking a prominent role, to make specific recommendations.

 

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