Blatter demands Uefa get tough

 

Sepp Blatter, the Fifa president, has called on his Uefa counterpart, Michel Platini, to consider imposing tougher sanctions on the Serbian FA for the racist chanting and violence that marred an Under-21 fixture against England in Krusevac two months ago. Blatter, speaking in Tokyo ahead of today's Club World Cup final, said he would contact Platini following growing criticism of an independent panel's decision on Thursday to hand out a fine of just £65,000 to the Serbians and order that they play only one match behind closed doors.

The financial punishment is four times the amount specified in Uefa's articles, but barring fans from a single game is at the lower end of the available scale. A host of Premier League managers as well as the PFA, Fifpro – who represent players worldwide – and Show Racism the Red Card have condemned the apparent light-handed response to the episode.

Platini, who is also in Japan for today's showpiece in Yokohama, has said Uefa may consider an appeal against the panel's ruling.

"Racism and discrimination has no place in football and there is zero tolerance for it," said Blatter. "There should be strong, harsh punishment when it comes to racism and discrimination." England's Thomas Ince and Steven Caulker were banned for one and two matches respectively over incidents in Krusevac, though the FA are to appeal on their behalf.

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