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Blatter: We must fight racism together

FIFA President Sepp Blatter talks on stage at The Football Association's 150th Anniversary Gala Dinner at the Grand Connaught Rooms in central London on October 26, 2013. The event marks the day when a group of men on October 26, 1863 representing a dozen

FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter has said he believes tackling racism in football it is a job that must be tackled by all within the game, while admitting FIFA must stand up to the issue.

“FIFA has to show zero tolerance to any form of discrimination. If we do not apply this approach, then we have failed,” President Blatter said today, following his speech at the FA's 150th Anniversary Gala Dinner last night.

“We cannot be the police all around the world. But FIFA will intervene in our competitions. Football has a pyramid structure. We have Confederations and member associations. This has to also be tackled by organisers of other competitions.”

He went on to outline the plans ratified by the FIFA Congress in July, where 98% of Member Associations approved amendments to FIFA Statutes, which implemented a stronger and more focussed approach to tackling discrimination in football.

FIFA has to show zero tolerance to any form of discrimination. If we do not apply this approach, then we have failed.

“FIFA has to implement decisions taken by Congress. We have to focus on education, but also identify match commissioners to help inside stadiums,” he said. “Then we have the following approach in three steps: 1. Warning those involved; 2. Sanctions against them; 3. Deducting points or expelling them from a competition.”

These plans are being implemented as part of the work of the FIFA Task Force Against Racism and Discrimination. “We have a strong Chairman of the Taskforce in Jeffrey Webb, and the best advisor possible, Tokyo Sexwale.

“He can speak about racism and discrimination,” Blatter said of the former South African minister and Robben Island prisoner. “We also need to understand from the victims, how we can intervene and help them.”

The subject of racism in football has been reignited this week following UEFA's announcement that they will be investigating an incident involving Manchester City's Yaya Toure while playing in the UEFA Champions League at CSKA Moscow. Webb has requested a meeting with Toure to discuss the incident.

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