PRETORIA: Danny Jordaan has insisted that it is overdue time that Russia began to confront racism within its domestic game at least than four years from its staging of the World Cup finals.
Jordaan, president of the South African Football Association and who ran the 2010 finals organisation, said only life bans for any guilty players, officials and fans could send out an adequate message.
He said: “Given our own history as South Africa as a country and given our struggle against apartheid and racism, this is an issue to which Russia must give serious attention.
“You’ve already seen the response from some of the leading players on the African continent.
“We will certainly, at the level of the Confederation of African Football and FIFA, raise these issues because we cannot see the same teams there that will be subjected to racial abuse and threats.”
Jordaan pointed to the NBA’s leadership in dealing with Los Angeles Clippers co-owner Donald Sterling, banning him for life after privately taped racist remarks were leaked to celebrity website TMZ.com.
In an interview with CNN he added: “In our own country we opposed both legislation and the conduct of racists in our country — they must be confronted.
“It must be dealt with severely. There must be decisive and very strong action.
“Such individuals certainly have no right to take charge of human-beings if the understanding is not that every human-being has equal worth. There are no players and things in the same team — it’s just unacceptable.”
Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko – who is also a member of the FIFA executive committee – has insisted there is no major racism problem in Russia though a litany of incidents continue to permeate the game.
Rostov coach Igor Gamula was banned for five game for saying he did want to sign a Cameroonian because the club has “enough dark-skinned players, we’ve got six of the things.”
CSKA Moscow have been ordered by UEFA to play Champions League home games behind closed doors because of fan abuse toward black players.