President of the world football governing body, Joseph Sepp Blatter, has advocated for newer, but “effective” sporting sanctions in the fight against racism.
The 78-year-old opines that point deduction will go a long way in involving various teams in the campaign against football hooliganism, which has been exhibited at all levels in world football.
“Sporting sanctions are the only effective punishment,” said Blatter. “It has to cause the clubs real hurt, otherwise nothing will change.
“It is the troublemakers who must be punished. And it is clear to me that the clubs are responsible for the hooligans.
Stadium ban, as nonetheless one of the punishments approved for the anti-racism and discrimination resolution penal code at last year’s Fifa Congress in Mauritius, has been widely employed in contemporary cases of match disturbance.
Swiss club FC Basel were ordered to play two of their Europa Cup matches following incidents of crowd disturbance and team’s improper conduct during their round of 16 second leg in Austria against Salzburg.
And most recently, the Ukrainian football association was hit with a stadium ban after its fans chanted xenophobic words and displayed Nazi symbols at a World Cup qualifier against San
Marino in Lviv.
Following unsuccessful appeal, the Ukrainians now play their
first home qualifier for the 2018 World Cup behind closed door.
In his column for Fifa Weekly, Blatter likened football behind closed door to “a carnival celebrations without costumes”, while stressing it is “an extremely dubious instrument which represent a disproportionately collective punishment”.
He wants “drastic and severe” sanctions, which does not penalise football.
According to the Fifa’s disciplinary code, cases of racial abuse attracts a warning for first offence and then stricter sanctions such as stadium closure, points deduction or even expulsion from competitions for subsequent offences.