Fifa wants 'crossed hands' gesture to help beat racism in football

football17 May 2024 07:20| © AFP
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Fifa said Friday it wants players to use a "crossed hands" gesture to signal to referees incidents of racist abuse, as it seeks to crack down on discrimination in the game.

Football's world governing body will make racism a specific offence in the disciplinary codes of all 211 of its members, with "severe" penalties including the forfeiture of matches.

The "global stand against racism" at Fifa's annual congress in Bangkok came after months of consultation with players who have suffered abuse from rivals or fans.

Real Madrid star Vinicius Junior has been one of the highest profile players to speak out about the ugly insults he suffers in LaLiga.

The 23-year-old Brazil winger has said that the racist abuse heaped on him at stadiums across Spain is reducing his desire to play the game.

His teammate Jude Bellingham urged the authorities to do more to clamp down on the problem, but said he doubted they would do so.

Other players of colour have also suffered abuse in other countries in recent months.

Fifa hopes its new approach, based on five "pillars", will start to make a difference.

As well as toughening up rules and sanctions, Fifa will push countries to adopt racism as a criminal offence, and work with schools and governments to encourage anti-racism education.

It will also create a dedicated players' anti-racism panel to monitor and advise on the plan's implementation.