Kick It Out releases statement on five match ban minimum for discrimination
Kick It Out has released a statement after The Football Association announced players found guilty of discriminating against an opponent will be suspended for a minimum of five matches earlier today (16 May).
A second offence will lead to an automatic minimum ban of 10 matches, in addition to any financial penalty. European body UEFA last month proposed 10-game bans for those found guilty of racial abuse during its competitions.
Kick It Out has released the following statement: “The new five game threshold is an improvement, though one which will stir debate, particularly amongst those on the receiving end of any form of discrimination.
“Provided UEFA follows through on its proposals for longer bans of 10 games, it is at this point that the game must review, and look to synchronise its efforts.
“The proposed educational element, too, is encouraging; offending players need to understand what is and isn’t acceptable under the regulations of the game in this country.
“Kick It Out has been calling for the strongest deterrent for this type of abuse for many years.”
The new disciplinary measures, which were agreed at The FA’s annual general meeting on Thursday, will start from next season.
Levels of punishment will rise if there are “aggravating” factors. Clubs may also be charged if two or more of their employees are sanctioned for discriminatory abuse in any 12-month period.
Charges will be brought in the event of discrimination on the field of play relating to ethnic origin, colour, race, religion or belief, gender, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, ability and disability.
FA chairman David Bernstein said: “The FA remains committed to this vital agenda and we will contribute upwards of £4m to this ongoing work.
“Football is about inclusivity and we want everyone to be able to play the game in a safe and welcoming environment.
“We have consulted far and wide and the new sanction and education package has been agreed by all partners involved in the process, including the Professional Footballers’ Association, the League Managers’ Association, Premier League, Football League, referees and Kick It Out.”
In addition to being suspended, offenders will also have to undergo mandatory education on anti-discrimination issues.
In deciding to impose five-match bans The FA has chosen not to mirror UEFA, which has suggested minimum a 10-game ban for racial abuse in its competitions, such as the Champions League and the European Championship.
The FA has been increasingly under pressure to clarify its punishments for racial offences following high-profile cases involving Chelsea’s John Terry and Liverpool’s Luis Suarez.
Terry was handed a four-match ban and a £220,000 fine for racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand in October 2011, while Suarez received an eight-match suspension and a £40,000 fine for his abuse of Manchester United’s Patrice Evra.
From BBC Sport