PFA back strong statement on racism

Wed, 21 Dec 09:41:50 2011

Luis Suarez's eight-match ban for racially abusing Patrice Evra is a strong statement that racism will not be tolerated, players chief Gordon Taylor has said.

Liverpool striker Suarez is expected to appeal - the Uruguay international's defence was that due to cultural differences he was unaware that language acceptable in his country was viewed as racist in Europe. Liverpool have reacted with fury at the punishment for the 24-year-old, who was also fined £40,000, which was imposed by an FA independent regulatory commission.

Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, said the sanction was an important message especially after the outcry at FIFA president Sepp Blatter's remarks - later retracted - that racism on the pitch should be settled by a handshake.

Taylor told Press Association Sport: "This was an independent commission experienced in law and football and they must have had compelling evidence, and it sends out a very strong message to the rest of the world. I understand the point about cultural differences but if you come to this country all players have to abide by not just the laws of the game but the laws of the land as well.

"Referring to someone's skin colour has got to be offensive - it's self-evident. No one can say the FA have ducked this issue and bearing in mind outcry in this country over Sepp Blatter's remarks it sends out an important message.

"This is a timely reminder that the FA, the PFA and the clubs to continue education programmes particularly for players coming from abroad that it is never right to make reference to a person's skin colour or nationality."

 

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