President of International Soccer Federation Speaks on Racism Incidents in Milan
“Just giving a pecuniary sanction is not acceptable” – President of FIFA Sepp Blatter
After incidents during the Serie A match between AC Milan and Roma on Sunday, where Mario Balotelli and Kevin-Prince Boateng were victims of racism chants, Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) President Joseph S. Blatter underlined his fight against racism in an video interview with FIFA.com.
FIFA.com: What was your reaction when you heard about the incidents in Milan?
Joseph Blatter: I think lessons have not been learned. It is incredible, that we had such incidents especially in the Italian Serie A in the San Siro between AC Milan and Roma, a very important match. The referee had to stop the match for a few minutes in order to bring back calm. This is bad, because we are just holding this task force against racism. In two weeks, we have our FIFA Congress, and we will have a resolution, that will be binding for everybody.
What is surprising and is not understandable for me, is that the Disciplinary Committee of the Italian Football Federation has taken a decision, not even 24 hours after the event, by just imposing a fine. They have not made any investigation of what happened. And just to give a pecuniary sanction is not valid, that is not acceptable. You will always find money. What is 50.000 Euros for such an incident? I’m not happy and I will call the Italian Federation. That’s not a way to deal with such matters.
FIFA.com: How does this incident strengthen your fight against racism and discrimination?
Joseph Blatter: I think it’s good for us and for the FIFA Congress, when we will present this resolution. In this resolution, there are foreseen sanctions. And these sanctions must be applied all around the world. That’s why we need the Congress’s decision. That will bind together all the 209 associations. I’m looking forward to that and I do hope, that there we will be no other incidents until May 30, when we will deal with this matter in Mauritius.
FIFA.com: How can you reassure players and fans, that FIFA is strengthening the sanctions?
Joseph Blatter: It must be a decision by the congress, which is then binding for everybody. This is very important. So let’s wait those few days going to the Congress and I appeal to everybody for a little more discipline and respect.
To watch the video interview with Blatter, visit http://www.fifa.com/aboutfifa/organisation/video/video=2078921/index.html.
This story first appeared in the blog, The Sport Intern. The editor is Karl Heinz-Huba of Lorsch, Germany. He can be reached at ISMG@aol.com. The article is reprinted here with permission of Mr. Heinz-Huba.