We'll kick racists out of World Cup, says Blatter


Last updated at 08:18 19 April 2006

Racist remarks by players or supporters could end a nation's World Cup dream under controversial new FIFA regulations.

Incidences of racism will be strictly punished at this summer's tournament, with perpetrators facing the immediate loss of three points under rules introduced by the governing body this month.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter said: "The regulations will be applied for this World Cup. At the first sign of racism there will be a deduction of three points, then we are finished with problems of discrimination."

Although the initiative has been broadly welcomed, it could lead to major problems.

Key figures such as Arsene Wenger have pointed out that applying sporting sanctions for the misbehaviour of supporters leaves the rules open to abuse.

Fans of one nation could pass themselves off as opposition followers and engage in racist acts to aid their own team's cause, leading to the unedifying prospect of nations taking legal action during the tournament to have points reinstated, as has been witnessed during Olympic Games.

Although FIFA officials say they are aware of the problem, it is not yet clear how the governing body intend to avoid punishing the wrong team.

Nor has Blatter explained how the rules would be applied during knockout stages.

Meanwhile, Rangers could be hauled back before UEFA after delegate Gerhard Kapl lodged an appeal against the decision to clear their fans of anti-Catholic chanting during the Champions League clash with Villarreal.

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