Referees at this year’s Confederations Cup in Russia will have the power to abandon games over discriminatory behaviour by fans as part of a three-step procedure to promote fair-play during the tournament, governing body FIFA has said.
The procedure allows referees to halt the match and make a public announcement over discriminatory fan behaviour, temporarily suspend the game if the problem persists and completely stop the match if the behaviour does not stop.
The governing body also introduced an initiative to deploy anti-discrimination officials into the crowd to detect and report abusive behaviour.
“These are ground-breaking changes in the global fight against discrimination that will mark the 2017 edition of the FIFA Confederations Cup,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino said in a statement. “Both initiatives are extra tools for the referees and match officials to prevent discriminatory attitudes and ensure that the atmosphere in the stadium is one of fair play and respect.”
FIFA had previously used observers, who are trained by the Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) network, at the 2018 World Cup qualifiers and specific international friendlies.
The 10th edition of the Confederations Cup will kick off on June 17 with hosts Russia facing New Zealand.