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FIFPro is calling on FIFA, UEFA, CAF and all other confederations to take strong and effective measures to safeguard footballers from spectators aiming racist chants and acting violently towards them.

 

During the last few days, FIFPro witnessed disturbing images from various matches.

  • On Friday, in Bulgaria, spectators aimed monkey chants towards Patrick Mtliga and Joras Okore, two colored players from the Danish national team.
  • On Saturday, in Senegal, spectators invaded the pitch and tried to attack players from Ivory Coast. They also threw objects on the pitch and lit small fires in the packed stands. The match was abandoned in the 77th minute.
  • On Tuesday, in Serbia, spectators aimed monkey chants at colored players from the England U-21 team, amongst others Danny Rose, who received a second yellow card after the final whistle for angrily kicking a ball in the stands. Spectators also threw fireworks and other objects on the pitch, aiming them at all England players and staff. Rose admitted that he was hit in the head by two stones when taking a throw-in.

 

FIFPro condemns all incidents. ‘We, as defender of the rights of all professional footballers in the world, cannot condone racist and violent behaviour against any player’, says Theo van Seggelen, FIFPro secretary general.

 

‘I know that football is a game of emotions. Being a football fan myself, I have also experienced that it can hurt losing a game. That’s football: you win, you lose, or you draw. And that’s where it should end. You have to accept that.’

 

‘Let me get this very clear: there is absolutely no excuse for any violent or racist action towards a player. Racism and violence against players are incomprehensible and should be impossible. Authorities must guarantee players’ safety, always.’

 

‘Therefore, FIFPro urges the football authorities and all national authorities to take these matters very seriously. We have said this many times before, and I will repeat it once again: FIFA, UEFA and all other confederations and federations must invoke their powers to banish these incidents.’

 

‘Racism has been a problem in football for many years. Even though FIFA, UEFA and other federations took measures to end this misbehaviour, it still occurs. Apparently, the sanctions imposed are not severe enough to eradicate this terrible conduct.’

 

‘FIFPro expects FIFA, UEFA and all others to come with a very strong message that makes it clear to everyone in the game, that there is no place for racism and violence in football.’