FA set to vote on racism punishments

The Football Association will likely vote on Thursday on proposals to introduce a minimum ban for players found guilty of racially abusing an opponent after high-profile cases involving Luis Suarez and John Terry, BBC Sport has reported.

A five-match ban is the punishment suggested, with the power to increase the suspension depending on what are termed “aggravating factors”. The FA are holding their annual general meeting at the national stadium, Wembley, where the vote is scheduled to be held.

UEFA have introduced a 10-game ban for players found to have racially abused an opponent but FA chairman David Bernstein confirmed the governing body of English football will not mirror their European counterparts. He said: “Ours is a very detailed and thought-out proposal. It is not likely to be exactly in line with UEFA’s.

Ours will have a minimum but it will have a clear acceleration from that minimum. We may well yet go beyond the 10,” Bernstein added.

Anti-racism campaigners in football have already moved to criticise the five-game minimum, the BBC adds, with Lord Ouseley, the chairman of Kick It Out, calling recently for the FA to match the UEFA proposal.

If UEFA are prepared to go with 10 – let’s go with 10 [in England],” Lord Ouseley said. “We will look stupid if UEFA go with 10 and we go with five. It will not add any credibility to the FA’s stance it has zero tolerance on this matter.

I think it’s very important they build credibility and send out a very confident message that will make people feel they can complain and something will be done.

The FA is clarifying its punishments for racial abuse after Luis Suarez was given an eight-game ban for an incident involving Manchester United defender Patrice Evra, while John Terry was suspended for four games after an altercation with Queens Park Rangers’ Anton Ferdinand. Suarez was however fined £40,000, while Terry was hit in the pocket to the tune of £220,000.

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