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The legendary Italian referee and UEFA chief has called for officials to use their power to take a tougher stance against racism.

UEFA's refereeing designator Pierluigi Collina has asked officials to be more decisive in their responses to racism from crowds.

The Italian went as far as to suggest that they should consider calling off games in order to combat the issue.

“Racism, like betting, is a cancer to be fought, otherwise football will die,” the 52-year-old warned La Gazzetta dello Sport in a recent interview.

Collina went on to outline just how strict referees must be in order to eradicate racism.

"As Michel Platini pointed out, since 2009 UEFA have a very clear protocol that referees must respect. If there are blatant insults and chants, the first phase requires a brief stop in play and a warning message sent out to the crowd.

"If the situation does not improve, he can suspend the match for five to 10 minutes with the teams sent back to the locker room and another message over the tannoy system.

“The final step is the definitive interruption of the match in accordance with the UEFA delegate and local figure responsible for security.

“This is a difficult decision, but the referees must be ready to make it. It is their duty.”

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