Global news

Blatter rethinks racism sanction stance

April 5, 2013
By ESPN staff

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has readjusted his view that clubs should be punished with relegation as a result of racist abuse.

In January, Blatter discussed sanctions for racism in an interview with FIFA's website and said: "The best would be the deduction of points and the relegation of a team, because finally the club is responsible for their spectators."

However, at a FIFA-sponsored conference on ethics in sports on Friday, the Swiss said such measures could result in fans deliberately provoking abuse.

"We have to do something," Blatter told reporters. "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 to groups of, let's say, bad hooligans to create these problems."

Blatter said relegation is "not a simple solution", adding: "This will lead to people coming to the stadium wanting to stop the game intentionally."

Blatter has appointed FIFA vice president Jeffrey Webb to lead a task force, that includes AC Milan's Kevin-Prince Boateng, which will propose penalties.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report