FIFA president GIANNI INFANTINO calls teams to take on automatic forfeits if their fans commit racist abuse

Sunday, January 21, 2024
 – FIFA president Gianni Infantino has called for harsher penalties, including automatic forfeits, against teams whose fans commit racist abuse, after new incidents.

On Saturday, Coventry City's Kasey Palmer was allegedly subject to a racist gesture during their Championship game against Sheffield Wednesday, while AC Milan's players walked off in solidarity after Mike Maignan reported monkey noises from a section of Udinese supporters.

In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Infantino said he believed that there had to be sterner punishments for clubs whose fans are racially abusive.

The statement, published on behalf of FIFA, read: 'The events that took place in Udine and Sheffield on Saturday are totally abhorrent and completely unacceptable. There is no place for racism or any form of discrimination - both in football and in society. The players affected by Saturday’s events have my undivided support.

'We need ALL the relevant stakeholders to take action, starting with education in schools so that future generations understand that this is not part of football or society.

'As well as the three-step process (match stopped, match re-stopped, match abandoned), we have to implement an automatic forfeit for the team whose fans have committed racism and caused the match to be abandoned as well as worldwide stadium bans and criminal charges for racists.

'FIFA and football shows full solidarity to victims of racism and any form of discrimination. Once and for all: No to racism! No to any form of discrimination!'

Palmer reported to referee Anthony Backhouse that a supporter had made monkey gestures towards him, leading to a stoppage in play.

The 27-year-old appeared upset at the full-time whistle where he was comforted by team-mates and manager Mark Robins.

Palmer addressed the abuse in a post on social media following the match, writing: 'Disappointed to even have to come on here and write this.

'Racism is a disgrace…it has no place in the world, let alone football.

'I'm black and proud and I am raising my three kids to be the exact same.

'I’ll be honest, it feels like things will never change, no matter how hard we try.

'Couple fans doing monkey chants don’t define a fan base – I appreciate all the love and support I’ve received.'

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