Written by Konrad Ostrowski
Former Premier League footballer, Shaka Hislop, has criticised FIFA and UEFA of being more concerned with finances than tackling racism.
Hislop, who is honorary president of the charity Show Racism the Red Card, said that footballing authorities need to do more to combat discrimination after Wilfried Zaha and David McGoldrick were racially abused at the weekend.
He said: “You have fines of 10,000 or 15,000 euros for racist chanting, but you have larger fines for financial irregularities.
“It says to fans and black, Asian, minority and ethnic players it’s more important to have a balanced balance sheet than it is you being safe and feeling you can come to a game and not be racially abused.
“That message is coming from the top and that is as empowering to that extreme element coming to football as anything else.”
Hislop, who was a goalkeeper for Reading, Newcastle, West Ham and Portsmouth, helped establish Show Racism the Red Card in 1996 and has seen it grow to become one of the UK’s biggest anti-racism educational charities.
He added: “The authorities have to have harsher sentences around racism and racist chanting in stadiums.
“I have no problem with FIFA and UEFA allowing individual FAs to have their own punishments.
“But if those fines, suspensions and punishments are too weak, which we saw particularly from the Italian FA, then UEFA have to step in. If UEFA don’t do a good enough job of policing their own members then FIFA has to step in.”
The issue of racism in football has become more prevalent since the Premier League restarted last month with players taking the knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement before every game.