Spain finally acts against the football racists
22 February 2005, MADRID-Spain's Socialist government has signed an accord against racism in football.
22 February 2005
MADRID-Spain's Socialist government has signed an accord against racism in football.
Jaime Lissavetzky, the Secretary of State for Sport, announced the signing of an agreement to combat racism and xenophobia in the sport.
The moves follows months of controversy in Spanish football which started with racist comments made by the national coach Luis Arragones about France and Arsenal player Thierry Henry.
Monkey chants towards black England players during what was supposed to be a friendly match with Spain in Madrid in November worsened the situation.
The ugly chanting has been seen at grounds around Spain and the Spanish FA has been criticised for not clamping down on the racism and only issuing small fines on clubs, typically of EUR 600.
Lissavetzky told journalists in Madrid: "Football should be a way of integrating, not a problem.
"It should be a solution to the problems of racism and xenophobia which Spain is experiencing as a consequence of the arrival of immigrants."
He did not want to spell out the measures which would be brought in to combat racism at this stage, but said these would be made clear shortly.
But he did say those found guilty of racism would face harsh fines or sanctions.
The minister said Spain wanted to encourage black or coloured people to become referees or third officials.
Lissavetzky said the Sports Law may be reformed to help combat racism, but firstly a series of measures would be introduced which should be sufficient.
The accord was signed by the Spanish Football Association, anti-racism pressure groups and other sporting bodies.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news