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Statement following racist incidents in Bulgaria

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Following changes made to its Disciplinary Code in June 2019, FIFA may extend worldwide any sanctions that a confederation or member association imposes for racist incidents, such as those which occurred in Sofia during the UEFA EURO 2020 qualifier match between Bulgaria and England.

FIFA therefore expects to be informed as soon as practicable regarding the relevant decisions of the UEFA disciplinary bodies in relation to this particular case. This would allow any sanctions imposed to be extended worldwide.

“So many times we say there is no place for racism in football, but nonetheless we still face challenges to tackle this problem in our sport, as we do in society. We will need the support of public authorities to help us identify and punish the culprits but we probably also need to think more broadly on what we can do to fix this. When we proposed the three-step procedure in 2009 when I was at UEFA, and then made the regulations even tougher a few years later, we could not have imagined that so shortly thereafter we would again be having to think of how to combat this obnoxious disease that seems to be getting even worse in some parts of the world," said FIFA President Gianni Infantino. 

“I call on all football governing bodies to join us and think together of new, stronger and more effective ways to eradicate racism in football. As a starting point, I suggest that all competition organisers enact regulations which envisage life bans from stadiums for those who are found guilty of racist behaviour at a football match. FIFA can then enforce such bans at a worldwide level.” he concluded.