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FIFPro and Romanian players union AFAN urge the Romanian football federation (FRF) to thoroughly investigate the actions by the referee during the match between Concordia Chiajna and Rapid Bucharest on October 3rd, when apparently he ignored the three-step anti-racism protocol.

Brazilian professional footballer Wellington was unaware of how to react when confronted with racist abuse on the field, during the aforementioned match. He did the right thing. He reported the abuse to the referee, who then should have halted the match and asked for an stadium announcement to be made to request the crowd to immediately stop the chanting. If the abuse would then have continued, the referee would have been entitled to first suspend and in the worst-case scenario abandon the match definitely. This is the so-called three-step protocol which is also in force in Romania.

In the case of Wellington, the referee apparently failed to follow the protocol, and subsequently failed to protect the player. Therefore FIFPro and Romanian players union AFAN urge the FRF to thoroughly investigate the actions by the referee. Until this moment, the FRF has not launched any such investigation. It did however sanction Rapid with a two-game stadium ban and a 5,000 euro fine.

Wellington-6Last month during the "Respect Diversity Conference" in Rome, FIFPro called on football authorities, federations and leagues to enforce the three-step protocol introduced by UEFA as a minimum standard within their own countries.

The UEFA three-step protocol empowers the match referee to stop the match and ask for a public address system announcement to be made urging spectators to stop such racist conduct and warn that the match will be suspended and subsequently abandoned should such unacceptable behaviour continue.

FIFPro insists that match referees under instruction from football's governing bodies are responsible in the application and enforcement of these measures. It is also clear that players have the right to judge any given situation if they have reason to believe the protocol in place has failed to protect them.

FIFPro, together with its member unions worldwide, will do its upmost to inform and instruct all players how to take action when confronted with racist abuse.