Blatter goes lukewarm on anti-racism measures

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has expressed misgivings about the idea of relegation and points deductions as punishments for racism,suggesting it could encourage fans to deliberately try and get matches stopped.

Written by Reuters | Zurich | Published:April 6, 2013 2:25 am

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has expressed misgivings about the idea of relegation and points deductions as punishments for racism,suggesting it could encourage fans to deliberately try and get matches stopped. In January,the 77-year-old Swiss had proposed the possible introduction of such sanctions for teams whose fans were guilty of racism but appeared to back away from that stance during a speech at an event in Zurich on Friday.

“Where does it end?” he asked. “How far can we go? To what extent can we expect that a game is stopped,by players walking off the field? Can we stop it by deducting points or by relegating a team? Or will this lead to persons coming to the stadium wanting to stop the game intentionally? There is so much passion in football.”

Afterwards,Blatter told reporters: “We have to do something but the danger is if we say the match will be replayed,or there will be a deduction of points or whatever,this can open the door for groups of hooligans to create these problems. That is why the control of the stadium will be essential.”

FARINA SHAME

Blatter also criticised the situation in Italy saying it was a “shame” that a former second division defender who denounced a match-fixing attempt had been shunned and could not get a new contract.

“We had the case of Simone Farina,and guess what happened? Italian clubs refused to sign him. He denounced football officials and they didn’t want to sign him any more… what a shame.”

Havelange issue

The issue of whether to strip Joao Havelange of his honorary FIFA presidency following a kickbacks scandal will be discussed at next month’s congress,although Blatter said that no member country has yet proposed such a measure.“There has not been any proposals on that but it’s on the agenda,” Blatter said.

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