Racism: UEFA president vows to bring black members to body’s disciplinary panel

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin [Courtesy]
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin will finally bring black members and women on to the body’s disciplinary panel - in a bid to get tougher on racism.

With a string black players across Europe still suffering abuse in the last four months alone, Ceferin will end the all-white, all male ethics committee that has caused outrage with lenient punishments, and change the organisation’s statutes in March.

The Slovenian lawyer said: “We didn’t do enough and we are not doing enough. Unfortunately, those cases push us.

“Watching those incidents, not just as a father, as a normal person, as a human being - it’s disgusting.

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“I’m sure we can do much more. The situation in Europe is not getting any better.

“And it’s not about Bulgaria. It’s about England. It’s about Italy. It’s about France. It’s everywhere.

“After cases like this emerged, I started to think - we all did - we have to have people who understand this problem.

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“People who have felt it. It’s different if you’ve never felt it personally, you know that. I know because we were in the ex-socialist regimes where we were not treated very equally.

“Our disciplinary committee and other committees should be more and more diverse. We have to bring black members in and we have to bring in more women.

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“I agree that sanctions will have to be harsher and harsher. And I’m sure we will. I cannot tell you more but we will rethink all the disciplinary regulation and diversity in the disciplinarian gravity.

“In the future, one of the governing bodies where this happens will have to have severe sanctions, I know.”

It means there could finally be points deductions or even the possibility of teams being thrown out of competitions for repeated racist abuse.

Ceferin added: “It is possible also for the future. It’s possible. Formally, not me. By we, I mean our disciplinary committee.”

Bulgaria were fined just £75,000 and made to play one game behind closed doors after their fans racially abused England’s players in October.

SEE ALSO :Bulgaria to play game behind closed doors, fined after England racism

In April Montenegro were ordered to play one match behind closed doors and fined £17,253 by UEFA for their fans racist abuse directed at England’s players.

Ceferin admitted UEFA needs people making decisions on punishments who understand what the players are going through - and suggested moves have already been made to fast-track new additions to the disciplinary committee.

He added: “You have to have different perspectives, then you have a more, let’s say, clear view on what is right and what is wrong.

“We want to be specific. So we are working on that we will change our statutes about it in March, the next committee.”

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UEFAAleksander Ceferin