The newly created FIFA Task Force Against Racism and Discrimination will hold its first meeting next Monday, 6 May, at the Home of FIFA in Zurich. The creation of the task force was announced by FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter in early March, following a meeting of the FIFA Strategic Committee, as part of a series of measures to tackle the pressing issue of racism and discrimination in football.

Chaired by FIFA Vice-President and CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb, the task force will include representatives from the different stakeholders of the football community as well as a broad panel of experts in the fight against racism and discrimination.

Aiming for a “zero tolerance” policy towards any acts of racism and discrimination, the group has been tasked with identifying tougher disciplinary sanctions on the one hand, and initiatives in the area of education and prevention on the other, in order to eradicate this scourge from the beautiful game. An update on the work of the task force will be presented at the FIFA Congress in Mauritius on 30-31 May.

“We have to work on two fronts,” said the FIFA President. “First on education, and for that FIFA has a fantastic network through its 209 member associations. But besides that, we also need to have stronger sanctions. We have seen that fines achieve little, but point deductions and exclusion from competitions could be more effective measures. We will now have a task force with experts in this area who I am sure will help us achieve our objective of kicking discrimination and racism out of football”.