Task Force Chairman Webb presents proposals to Member Associations during FIFA 63rd Congress 2013 in Mauritius
PORT LUIS, Mauritius - FIFA Member Associations have approved the Anti-Racism and Discrimination resolutions proposed by the governing body's newly-formed task force chaired by FIFA Vice President, Jeffrey Webb, during its 63rd Congress on Friday in Mauritius. The implementation of these resolutions in every region and every country where football is played will bring universality to the mechanisms that combat racism and discrimination.
"My question to you now is how will 2013 be judged by future generations? Let this be the defining moment that history will reflect upon in gratitude as football stands up against racism and discrimination," probed Webb to the audience during his passionate speech. "Let us all show the world that the football family is committed to continuing its evolution into an anti-discrimination, multi-cultural organization that promotes positive role models to society."
Having regard to football's objective to constantly improve the game and promote it globally in the light of its unifying, educational, cultural and humanitarian values, the participating federations have agreed to adopt and implement the proposed resolutions throughout the world.
FIFA President, Joseph Blatter, also stressed the importance of the fight against discrimination. "There have been despicable events this year that have cast a long shadow over football and the rest of society," he said. "I am speaking of the politics of hate - racism, ignorance, discrimination, intolerance, small-minded prejudice."
He also expressed a hope that, through "the newly formed Task Force, led by Jeffrey Webb, and the tough resolution before you this week, we can send a strong signal to the racists that their time is up. The ball does not discriminate and neither should we."
Adding to FIFA's robust regulatory framework and Code of Conduct, the task force will support the governing body in applying its zero tolerance policy and strengthening its long-standing fight against discrimination worldwide. It will also remind the member associations about their obligation to apply the sanctions provided for in the FIFA Statutes and the FIFA Disciplinary Code as part of their responsibility to eliminate racism and discrimination in football within their jurisdiction.
'Sport has the power to change the world, the power to inspire, the power to unite people in a way that little else can for it speaks to people in a language they understand,' echoed Webb quoting Nelson Mandela.
"We, as a family, have met various challenges over this long journey to expand the passion for football throughout the world, which started 108 years ago," recalled Webb to the audience. "In 1976, the football family stood together and took action against apartheid. Likewise, the 1986 Congress in Mexico has gone down in history as a decisive moment for the world governing body to take a stance against women's inequality within football."
As guest speaker, FIFA invited South Africa's current Minister of Human Settlements and representative of the Mandela Foundation, Tokyo Sexwale, to address the audience.
"Football has a global platform that reaches millions of people around the world. Be careful in assisting these racist acts," strongly uttered Sexwale. "I thank you for this opportunity not only in saying no to racism but also in taking a firm action."
The following measures shall be implemented on a global level in football:
EDUCATION: competition organizers shall establish a concrete action plan, showing their intention to fight all forms of racism and discrimination among their players, officials and supporters.
PREVENTION: Competition regulation shall foresee a specialized official to be in the stadium to identify potential acts of racism or discrimination with the aim of easing the pressure on referees and facilitating the availability of evidence for the judicial bodies to take decision.
SANCTIONS: The sanctions provided for in the FDC, which are mandatory for all member associations in accordance with the FDC, offer relevant judicial bodies the necessary discretion when deciding on specific cases of supporter misconduct. However, in order to harmonize the pronounced sanctions on a worldwide level, the sanctions imposed on a club or representative team shall in principle be issued in a two-stage approach:
- For a first or minor offence, the sanctions of a warning, a fine and/or the playing of a match behind closed doors shall be applied.
- For reoffenders or for serious incidents, sanctions such as point deductions, expulsion from a competition or relegation shall be applied.
Furthermore, any person (player, official, match official, etc.) who commits such an offence should be suspended for at least five matches combined with a stadium ban as foreseen in the FDC.
Through a fresh vision of development and commitment to providing resources for development throughout the globe, FIFA is leading an era guided by the resolution to dispel all differences.
"I am extremely pleased that the football family has finally united with a firm stance to provide a strong, effective and influential voice against all forms of discrimination through focusing on education, prevention and sanctions," said CONCACAF President, Webb. "I am honoured to have been asked to chair this crucial task force."
The Anti-Racism and Discrimination Task Force exists to take action on all anti-discrimination initiatives and concerns raised within the global football community. These include, but are not limited to, global educational and awareness activities, coalition campaigns, prevention, legislation and sanctions that can facilitate the referral of concerns around discrimination incidents within football. The task force's first meeting was held in Zurich on May 6th, where invited members discussed and agreed on the proposals presented in Mauritius for voting.