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FIFPro calls upon FIFA to come to a closer cooperation in its fight against racism. FIFPro was surprised to learn of the statements made by FIFA President, Mr. Sepp Blatter, that racism on the pitch would be permitted.

 

The statements of Mr. Blatter are, to put it mildly, rather clumsy. FIFPro, as the voice of the footballers, knows that football is a contact sport, in which all players, with due regard to the sporting rulings, try to win the match. After the end of the match they shake hands as a token of mutual respect. 

 

FIFPro also knows that, in the heat of the battle, players sometimes indulge in indiscriminate language.  There is however a bottom line which should not be crossed. There are things that you cannot just solve by shaking hands after the end of the match, as Mr. Blatter suggests.

 

Unfortunately racism remains a huge problem in football, both on the pitch and in the stadiums. FIFPro is well aware of this and so is Mr. Blatter.

 

By organizing anti racism campaigns such as Show Racism the Red Card, FIFPro has been fighting racism for many years now and tries to convince the football world of the fact that all men are equal, that racism does not belong to football nor to society. 

 

In the past FIFPro successfully worked together with FIFA in the fight against racism, but since the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, FIFA has hardly made itself heard on this fight, which is rather sad.

 

The fact is that it is not sufficient to have both captains read out a declaration before the beginning of the match, under the watching eye of the whole world, as was done during the quarterfinals of the 2010 World Cup. This battle is not so easy to win. This battle has to be fought continuously, and not only during the World Cup.

 

FIFPro urges Mr. Blatter to have a discussion on this, firstly to clear up the caused misunderstanding, secondly to start a closer cooperation between FIFPro and FIFA in this regard.

 

Tony Higgins, FIFPro’s anti racism spokesman: ‘FIFPro invites FIFA to have a discussion, in order to make clear to the players that FIFA takes very seriously the fight against racism in football. We are looking for a stronger and closer cooperation and a more visible relationship in this fight against racism. We, the players, must get the message that FIFA is working on solutions.’