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'Racism needs to end' - Infantino defends FIFA actions after string of abuse claims

19:07 EAT 13/04/2019
Moise Kean Juventus 2018-19
The head of the world football governing body called on referees and FAs to take more drastic action against discriminatory chants

FIFA president Gianni Infantino insists that his organisation is working to eradicate racism after a series of high-profile incidents increased the pressure to act against such discrimination. 

In recent weeks players such as Moise Kean, Prince Gouano, Kalidou Koulibaly, Raheem Sterling and Danny Rose have all spoken out against alleged cases of abuse from sectors of the football world. 

Amiens captain Gouano was subjected to racist abuse from the stands in Friday's match against Dijon, which was stopped for five minutes by the referee on the player's request.

Their accusations have led to claims that FIFA has not done enough to guarantee professionals' safety on the pitch, an assertion that Infantino disputes.

"In recent days, it has been very sad to see a number of racist incidents in football," the FIFA chief affirmed in a statement published by the governing body on Saturday.

"This is really not acceptable. 

"Racism has no place in football, just as it has no place in society.

"FIFA stands together with Prince Gouano, Kalidou Koulibaly, Raheem Sterling, Danny Rose and any other player, coach, fan or participant in a football match who has suffered from racism, whether at the highest professional level or in a school playground. 

"Racism needs to end, full stop."

Infantino continued to urge match officials to make use of the tools at their disposal if racist behaviour is detected, including the possibility of cutting games short.

"We introduced the so-called “three-step procedure” at our tournaments: a mechanism that allows referees to abandon a match in case of discriminatory incidents," he added.

"FIFA urges all member associations, leagues, clubs and disciplinary bodies to adopt the same procedure, as well as a zero-tolerance approach to incidents of racism in football, and to apply harsh sanctions for any such kind of behaviour.

"We will continue to be at the forefront of the fight against racism and we guarantee to all our member associations that they have our full support in taking up this challenge. 

"We will not hesitate to do everything in our power to eradicate racism and any other form of discrimination, from football, at any level and anywhere in the world."