FIFA, world football’s governing body, is doubling its minimum ban for racist incidents to 10 games, and will start inviting players to make victim statements at disciplinary hearings, according to its new disciplinary code.
Stricter handling of discrimination allegations is a key theme of the redrafted FIFA disciplinary code which comes into effect next week.
“Topics like racism and discrimination have been updated, putting FIFA at the forefront of the fight against this appalling attack on the fundamental human rights of individuals,” the organisation said in a statement.
The minimum ban for players or officials rises from five to 10 games, and victims can soon be heard in person by FIFA judging panels. “FIFA will not let down victims of racist abuse,” said the statement, adding they “may be invited by the respective judicial body to make an oral or written victim impact statement”.
“For a first offence, playing a match with a limited number of spectators and a fine of at least 20,000 Swiss francs ($20,000) shall be imposed on the association or club concerned,” FIFA said. In recent seasons, FIFA and European football body UEFA have closed cases of alleged racist abuse for lack of evidence beyond the testimony of the players involved.