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'The statutes will be changed' - UEFA president Ceferin promises more diversity in disciplinary committee following racist incidents

09:03 GMT 03/12/2019
Aleksander Ceferin UEFA
Following a number of incidents across European football, the federation looks set to make some changes

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has promised to make the organisation more accountable by pushing to make their 10-man disciplinary committee more diverse in the wake of a number of racist incidents throughout football.

There have been a number of racist incidents throughout Europe this year, and UEFA has come under fire for its handling of those incidents.

The federation was criticised for the decision to hand the Bulgarian FA a €75,000 (£65,000/$83,000) fine and two-match stadium ban for the racist behaviour of their supporters during the 6-0 defeat to England.

Romelu Lukaku is one of several footballers to state that he believes UEFA isn't doing enough, while teams in the Eredivisie sent a message by opting to not play the first minute of a recent round of league matches.

UEFA's 10-man disciplinary committee is currently made up of 10 white males, and Ceferin says black members and women will be brought in when UEFA holds its next committee meeting in March.

“Everything is ready, so that we can put in additional members of the disciplinary committee because now it's a fixed number," he told The Mirror.

“We have already some proposals. But it's too early to speak publicly about it. It will happen in March. The statutes will be changed. And then a week later we can do it.”

Ceferin says that he believes that the rise of racist incidents is not directly related to football or its supporters, but rather a surge in nationalism throughout Europe.

“They don't care about football. They care about their own idiotic ideology," he said.

“And that's why football is a reflection of society. It brings the worst to the stands. I still think that 99 per cent of football fans are not racist.

"But those idiots ruin everything. Then this attention is what they care about. They don't care about football. Even if the players walk off, they will enjoy it. Only the real football fans would suffer. If we stop the match they enjoy it. They don't care.

“Do you think those idiots in Bulgaria care about the football match? They left the football match after 10 minutes. Do you think fans in Croatia who draw a swastika on the pitch care about football?

“No, they don't. They are exactly like the Nazi Party in the 30s or the last century. And if we say we can't do anything anymore then we should stop doing anything.

“I’ve said before, it cannot be solved only by football. Governing bodies have to be helped by the government because for me if you are chanting or showing Nazi signs, that's a criminal act.

“I speak with our colleagues, with my colleagues from the football federations [across Europe]. The other day I spoke with two or three of the very big countries in western Europe and they are worried. They say that 30% of the world probably supports the extreme right?

“So it's a frightening, frightening situation. Of course there are two ways of looking at it: One is, yes, we [football] attract it. The second is that we can use football to do things because we have power. I don't run away from that. We have power because if we do something it's always big.”