What's buzzing:

Blatter calls for relegation to punish racism

Goal.com
Blatter calls for relegation to punish racism
.

View photo

Blatter calls for relegation to punish racism

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has backed relegation as an appropriate punishment for racism in football.

The issue of racist abuse has been firmly in the spotlight recently, with AC Milan's Kevin-Prince Boateng's walk-off in a friendly against Pro Patria at the forefront. Lazio had previously been fined 40,000 euros by UEFA for racist chanting in a Europa League match against Tottenham.

Blatter praised Boateng for delivering a "strong warning" to offenders, but insists that point deductions and relegation should be the ultimate sanctions against a club that cannot control the behavior of its fans.

"[Racism] is a phenomena where football is a victim of our society," Blatter told FIFA.com. "Discrimination and racism is everywhere in our society. We in football cannot be made responsible for what happens in our society. But nowhere in the world – regarding all the problems you can have in your private life, in business, in politics – can you solve a problem by running away."

"I agree with and support the movement of Boateng – as I have said – as it was a strong warning. It is now up to us to take the adequate steps. What I feel we should do is give instructions to our national associations and the confederations – specifically to the disciplinary committees – to be very strong.

"It is not enough to give a fine. Playing a game without spectators is one of the possible sanctions, but the best would be the deduction of points and the relegation of a team, because finally the club is responsible for their spectators.

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has also called on the sport to unify against racism, telling Radio 24: "Sometimes we talk about lowering our voices, but everyone needs to raise their voices against racism. I supported Milan and Boateng’s choice to leave the field due to the racist chanting in Busto Arsizio. It was a strong gesture but maybe it will be difficult to repeat.

"But we must have the strength to be indignant, to say ‘enough’ and to turn our backs on those who chant offensive things. It’s important to talk about it, to discuss it. We can’t pretend that nothing happened. We have to say ‘enough.'"

Follow GOAL.COM on Twitter

View Comments (7)
  • James, Bale lift Real as Vermaelen rescues Barca

    James, Bale lift Real as Vermaelen rescues Barca

    Real Madrid got their season up and running when Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez struck twice in a 5-0 drubbing of Real Betis on Saturday while La Liga champions Barcelona edged Malaga 1-0 to maintain their perfect start. New coach Rafa Benitez … More »

    Reuters - 2 minutes 21 seconds ago
  • Vermaelen takes plaudits after debut Barca goal

    Vermaelen takes plaudits after debut Barca goal

    Barcelona coach Luis Enrique was clearly delighted with Thomas Vermaelen's debut goal for the club on Saturday and said he was not surprised the Belgium defender was finally coming good after a long struggle with injury. Vermaelen struck the winner … More »

    Reuters - 32 minutes ago
  • 'Falcon' Navas raises question over Real need for De Gea

    'Falcon' Navas raises question over Real need for De Gea

    Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas produced another excellent performance for Real Madrid in Saturday's 5-0 La Liga win at home to Real Betis that may have left many fans of the world's richest club wondering why they need David De Gea. According … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 0 minutes ago
  • Pair of red cards cost short-handed Whitecaps in 2-0 loss to Dynamo

    A pair of red cards cost the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday night. Kendall Watson and Matias Laba were shown red cards, leaving Vancouver down two men for nearly 30 minutes of action, in a 2-0 loss against the Houston Dynamo. "They were working … More »

    The Canadian Press - 2 hours 1 minute ago
  • Dynamo stun nine-man Whitecaps 2-0

    Dynamo stun nine-man Whitecaps 2-0

    (Reuters) - Ricardo Clark and Raul Rodriguez scored for Houston Dynamo to lead them to a 2-0 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps in the Major League Soccer on Saturday. The Whitecaps played with just nine men for about 30 minutes as Kendall Watson … More »

    Reuters - 2 hours 19 minutes ago