ZURICH: FIFA’s new anti-racism taskforce has proposed having observers attend games specifically to monitor racist or discriminatory behaviour.

The observers would be in addition to those assigned to oversee on-pitch incidents and refereeing. Two- or three-stage penalties including points deductions and elimination from competitions will also be put forward.

Member associations will vote on the measures at Fifa’s annual congress in Mauritius at the end of May.

The  taskforce – formed by football’s world governing body in a bid to combat discrimination in the game – is led by Jeffrey Webb, the president of CONCACAF and includes Ghana’s Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng, who led his team from the field in protest at racism from supporters at a friendly game.

The sanction regime that will be proposed by the anti-racism taskforce would start with stronger fines being levied or games played behind closed doors.

The second and/or third steps would be increasingly severe with points deductions for offending teams or even elimination from competitions.

The proposals would apply only to FIFA competitions but similat proposals have already been drawn up by UEFA.

Panel members

The meeting was opened by FIFA president Joseph S. Blatter with the attendance of Jeffrey Webb (FIFA Vice-President, President of CONCACAF); Darren Bailey (Director of The Football Association’s Football Governance and Regulation) who was representing David Bernstein, President of The FA, for this session; Yury Boychenko (Chief of the Anti-Discrimination Section at the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner) who was replacing the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem PILLAY; Serey Die (Ivory Coast player at FC Basel); Gianni Merlo (AIPS President); Marcel Mathier (Outgoing chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee); Osasu Obayiuwana (Associate Editor ofNew African Magazine); Piara Powar (CEO of FARE); Theo van Seggelen (FIFPro Secretary General); Claudio Sulser (Incoming chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee); Howard Webb (FIFA Referee); Véron Mosengo-Omba (UEFA); Dr Thomas Partl (UEFA). The players Jozy Altidore and Kevin-Prince Boateng, who had obligations with their respective clubs, were excused for this first session of the task force.