Michel Platini criticises FIFA over discrimination tolerance

UEFA president Michel Platini had a dig at soccer`s world governing body FIFA on Wednesday, saying it had failed to show zero tolerance towards discrimination at the World Cup.

Reuters| Last Updated: Sep 10, 2014, 21:52 PM IST
Michel Platini criticises FIFA over discrimination tolerance

Rome: UEFA president Michel Platini had a dig at soccer`s world governing body FIFA on Wednesday, saying it had failed to show zero tolerance towards discrimination at the World Cup.

"It`s all well and good to create committees and task forces but you will get nowhere without infrastructure and... rules," the Frenchman said as he opened an anti-discrimination conference in Rome.

"UEFA put up a system that is a complex monitoring system of all high risk matches so that, unlike the World Cup in Brazil, zero tolerance is really put into practice.”

Platini appeared to be referring to FIFA`s failure to hand out sanctions after Mexican fans chanted the word "puto" - or "faggot" in Spanish - at opposition goalkeepers during games.

Claudio Sulser, head of FIFA`s Disciplinary Committee, said at the time that the decision to take no action against Mexico reflected that the abuse was not aimed at an individual player.

FIFA also took no action against German fans who blacked up their faces at the match against Ghana and Croatian fans who displayed neo-Nazi flags and insignia.

Platini added: "Football is a mirror of society, it reflects its qualities but magnifies its flaws.

"We need to make sure we can protect the most vulnerable. Discrimination is a scourge that has scarred history for many years... that can no longer by accepted in our society in which everyone should be equal."

"Gone are the days of football in Europe as sport for middle class, white male chauvinists and it will never return," he added.

Platini said the fact the conference was being held showed that, for all its efforts, football had failed to stamp out discrimination.

"This is a long arduous difficult journey with lots of obstacles, but nobody will keep us from going the extra mile.

"Football includes, it welcomes, it integrates, it does not exclude or discriminate against anybody, it accelerates progress in society," he said.