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“Game-Changer: FIFA’s Five-Pillar Plan to Eradicate Racism in Football”

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  • The primary pillar of the proposal aims to designate racism as a distinct offense in all member associations.
  • FIFA has introduced a five-pillar plan to tackle racist abuse in football, following extensive consultations with current and former players committed to driving change.

FIFA has introduced a five-pillar plan to tackle racist abuse in football, following extensive consultations with current and former players committed to driving change.

One key aspect of the plan involves implementing a universal hand gesture—crossed-hands—for players to signal instances of racism during matches. This initiative, titled the ‘Global Stand Against Racism,’ will be presented to FIFA’s 211 member associations during the annual congress in Bangkok.

The primary pillar of the proposal aims to designate racism as a distinct offense in all member associations. FIFA has pledged to take decisive action by halting, suspending, or even abandoning games in response to racist incidents.

Referees will use the crossed-hands gesture to initiate a protocol wherein matches are paused twice and warnings issued. If necessary, the game terminated due to further racism.

Under the third pillar, ‘criminal charges.’ FIFA advocates for the criminalization of racism in all jurisdictions. It promises to advocate for severe penalties in regions where it’s already a legal offense.

Additionally, FIFA plans to spearhead educational campaigns. In collaboration with schools and governments to foster a future devoid of racial discrimination. An anti-racism panel comprising former players will be established to monitor the proposal’s progress.

Recent incidents on Brazilian and Real Madrid star Vinicius Jr expressing disillusionment with football due to racist abuse.

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England manager Gareth Southgate’s condemnation of the racist abuse. This was on Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka. This further highlights the severity of the issue.

However, FIFA’s proposals have drawn criticism from anti-discrimination organization Kick it Out. Chief Executive Tony Burnett contends that the plans lack specificity and places undue burden on players to devise solutions.

Burnett advocates for empowering players and their management to walk off the pitch when confronted with racism, emphasizing the need for enhanced referee education as well.

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