Anti-racism group calls for tougher sanctions
Players found guilty of racial abuse should be given long-term bans, The Society of Black Lawyers says.
The body has put together a 10-point plan to deal with racism in the game following several recent high-profile cases, including Mark Clattenburg's alleged 'inappropriate language' towards Chelsea's John Obi Mikel.
While John Terry and Luis Suarez were both fined and banned for four and eight games respectively as punishment for using racist language on the pitch, the SBL believes more must be done to rid football of racism.
The plan is as follows:
- A minimum six to nine-month ban for racial abuse, rising to a five-year ban for a third offence.
- Any fines going directly to Kick It Out to fund grassroots anti-racism initiatives.
- The creation of representative associations for black players, managers and coaches.
- Guidance for referees to send off players using racist abuse.
- The power to call off games where the crowd is using such abuse.
- A 20 percent quota at all levels of the FA, PFA, clubs as well as football agents and referees.
- Racial abuse to be a matter of gross misconduct incorporated into players' contracts.
- Clubs to invest in the personal education of all players, including university or college education.
- Recording referees and assistants during matches to pick up any possible abuse by players.
- A system for reporting racial incidents to be set up with details of such incidents, both on and off the pitch, published each year.
A further statement read: "The FA itself must set a clear set of sanctions against racist abuse on the field that reflects the seriousness of the offence."
The organisation is also in talks to set up a Black Players' Association to support those who have been unhappy over a recent perceived lack of action.
Several players refused to wear t-shirts supporting Kick It Out's most recent anti-racism campaign, most notably Jason Roberts, and Anton Ferdinand's brother Rio.