EDINBURGH, Scotland (AP) — FIFA’s new anti-racism chief Jeffrey Webb believes soccer has failed to support abused players and needs tougher sanctions.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter appointed Webb, the CONCACAF president, this week to head a task force on racism after a number of abuse cases among players and fans.
“We’ve been talking for a long time in football (about racism) and I don’t really think that we’ve supported the players,” Webb said Saturday after a meeting of soccer’s rule-makers. “I don’t think we’ve necessarily put the right sanctions in place to support them. It’s a travesty that it comes to that.”
Some fines imposed by FIFA have been considered too lenient. FIFA fined Bulgaria and Hungary in January about $40,000 each for racist and anti-Semitic abuse by their fans.
“I really don’t think that financial instruments in today’s world are enough to deal with it,” Webb said. “With the money that’s involved in football today, the fines that are being established, I don’t think they’re working, obviously.”
Blatter has previously said point deductions and relegation punishments are needed as disciplinary options to help deal with discrimination at matches.
The heaviest bans for racist abuse by players have come in England. Liverpool striker Luis Suarez served an eight-match ban for racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra during a match. Chelsea captain John Terry was suspended for four games for hurling insults at Anton Ferdinand at Queens Park Rangers.
Webb plans to make a fact-finding trip to England where he hopes to speak to players, including Suarez, Terry, Evra and Ferdinand.
“I will be meeting with the FA chairman David Bernstein and visiting the FA,” Webb said. “At that time I would also like to meet with some of the players, perhaps have a round-table discussion to talk to the players and get their input, get some suggestions from them and learn from what their experiences are. Obviously, there’s a number of players who have been victimized, targeted. Plus we would like to hear both sides, really.”
Bernstein is pleased that FIFA is recognizing the need to deal with discrimination in soccer.
“It is vitally important football’s governing bodies share experiences and knowledge if we are to properly tackle this issue,” Bernstein said.
Webb’s task force will have at least six members, and he’ll present his initial findings to the FIFA Congress in May.
Webb, who is from the Cayman Islands, also has concerns about the lack of opportunities for black players in higher levels of the sport.
“I played football and I wanted to go into administration,” he said. “Some players, (Paul) Ince might want to go into management. Sol Campbell might want to be the next coach for Arsenal. Do they really have that opportunity?”
“We as a football family, overall, have to sit down and take a look in the mirror,” Webb added. “What happens to the players after they finish playing? Do they really have a chance at being a professional manager? Do people of color really have a chance to become executive directors of various clubs and boards?”
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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