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'We have to do more' - UEFA chief Ceferin admits not enough is being done to fight racism

10:57 PM GMT+4 04/12/2019
Aleksander Ceferin UEFA
Following several high-profile incidents, the president of Europe's governing body says that more needs to be done on and off the pitch

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has said that nobody is doing enough to deal with the scourge of racism in the game. 

Racism has long been a problem in football but the issue has become even more pronounced in recent months after a series of high-profile incidents in Europe. 

In Italy, several players including Romelu Lukaku and Mario Balotelli have been the subjects of abuse from fans and in Balotelli's case, his own club's president. 

Meanwhile, in October, several England players were abused by fans in Sofia during a Euro 2020 qualifier against Bulgaria. 

Ceferin has said that UEFA should be doing more to combat racism but also indicated that the problem went far beyond the world of football. 

"I don't think that anybody's doing enough for racism," Ceferin told BBC Sport. "We're trying to do as much as we can. I don't say we cannot improve and we are trying to improve.

"But it's a problem that is more than just football. It's a societal problem. Football is always the reflection of society and in Europe, I would say things are worse and worse every year."

Ceferin's comments on society came just days after he accused British Prime Minister Boris Johnson of fuelling racism.

The UEFA chief took particular issue with Johnson's comments on Muslims.

“When a politician that calls women with burqas 'post boxes' or 'mailboxes' then says publicly that he condemns UEFA - do you reply to that? Do you believe it's honest? Come on," Ceferin told the Mirror.

UEFA has instated a three-step protocol for dealing with racists that several players have criticised as being insufficient, as a game can only be abandoned if fans have been warned twice.

Ceferin has admitted that his organisation have not been able to devise a way to stop racist chants right away.

"There's no magic stick to tell us what exactly to do to stop it immediately," he said.

"But we are well aware that we have to do more, that we have to try more and the situation is not the same as 20 years ago.

"It's much worse and it's getting worse and worse."