Friday, April 07, 2006

Racism sanctions to apply to the World Cup

FIFA has let it be known that Article 55 will apply to teams in the World Cup. Here is what Article 55 says:

Article 55 now stipulates a suspension of five matches at every level of football as well as a stadium ban and a minimum fine of 20,000 Swiss francs for any act or expression of a discriminatory and/or contemptuous nature.

If an official commits such an offence, the fine will be 30,000 Swiss francs.

Furthermore, an association or club will be fined 30,000 francs if any of its supporters display discriminatory banners or behave in a discriminatory or contemptuous manner during a game.

As much as no one wants to get a financial fine, the big penalty will be the deduction of points or forfeiture of the game.

A new provision in the article guarantees that if any player, official or supporter behaving in a discriminatory or contemptuous manner can be attributed to a certain team, three points will automatically be deducted from that team for the first offence. In the case of a second offence, six points will be deducted.

In the case of matches played without points being awarded, the side in question will be disqualified.

I hope that there is no need to invoke this rule, but if there is cause, it will be a true test of FIFA's determination. If this results in a team getting knocked out of the finals, there will be a lot of anger. If FIFA does not standup to that anger, then it is worthless.


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