Minister calls for players to be sacked over racist abuse
Andrew Stunell, the race equalities minister, will publicly call on football clubs to sack players who are found guilty of racist behaviour.
The issue was thrust into the spotlight last season after Luis Suarez, the Liverpool striker, was banned by The Football Association for eight games after he was found to have racially abused Manchester United full-back Patrice Evra.
John Terry, the Chelsea captain, was cleared by Westminster Magistrates Court of a racially aggravated pubic order offence during a match against Queens Park Rangers last year, but The FA has yet to decide whether they will pursue their own action against the former England captain.
Stunell will appear tonight on a panel at the Liverpool Race Equality Question Time event and will argue that clubs should now tear up the contracts of players who are found to have engaged in racist behaviour on or off the pitch.
He also recommended that clubs invest in diversity training for players, especially those coming to the UK for the first time from overseas, to help educate them on race issues and on the behaviour expected from professional sportsmen in the UK.
“We saw last season that the ugly face of racism reappeared in the beautiful game,” said Stunell. “I want to see it kicked out once and for all and to show there are severe consequences for those players who continue to behave in such an unacceptable manner.
“Our clubs have a clear duty-of-care to their players, particularly when bringing them over to a new and unfamiliar country. They need to produce well-rounded human beings as well as well-rounded footballers.
“Whether they like it or not, these global superstars are role models to millions of young people. Teams need to invest in prevention to root out this problem before it takes hold and have tough sanctions in place if it all goes wrong.”
From the Daily Telegraph