LONDON: English football has set a minimum five-match ban for racist or discriminatory abuse by players from next season.

The Football Association has said the sanction will be the “entry level” punishment for the “least serious” discriminatory offences with longer bans for higher level offences.

Those found guilty of offences will also have to attend educational programmes.

However the minimum tariff ban falls far short of the proposal for a minimum 10-game ban to be considered next week by European federation UEFA at its annual congress in London.

FA chairman David Bernstein said: “Importantly, this agreement encompasses all elements of discrimination, not just racial abuse.”

The FA decision follows controversy over the variation in the suspensions imposed on Liverpool’s Luis Suarez and Chelsea’s John Terry after the controversies which erupted around them in October 2011.