Gianni Infantino, the president of FIFA, has called for global stadium bans for fans and “automatic penalties” for teams whose supporters engage in “abhorrent” behavior following incidents of racism during Saturday’s matches in England and Italy.
Infantino stated that there is no place for discrimination in football or society at large. In a statement, he said, “The events that occurred on Saturday in Udine and Sheffield are utterly abhorrent and completely unacceptable. The players affected by Saturday’s events have my full support.”
During AC Milan’s dramatic 3-2 victory against Udinese, fans directed monkey chants at Milan’s goalkeeper, Mike Maignan, leading to a temporary suspension of the match. Similarly, Coventry midfielder Kasey Palmer accused Sheffield Wednesday’s fans of doing the same during a match in the English second division, which Coventry won 2-1.
Infantino emphasized the need for all relevant stakeholders to take action, starting with education in schools, to ensure that future generations understand that this behavior has no place in football or society.
He urged the adoption of a three-step process: stopping the match, restarting it, and abandoning it if the behavior persists. Additionally, he called for automatic penalties for teams whose fans engage in racism, leading to match suspensions, as well as criminal charges and global stadium bans for the perpetrators.
“FIFA and football show their full solidarity with the victims of racism and any form of discrimination. Once and for all: No to racism! No to any form of discrimination!” Infantino concluded.