World League Forum institutes anti-racism committee after members express worry over racist incidents during football matches

A number of players have been racially abused by fans in recent months, with Brescia striker Mario Balotelli targeted by Hellas Verona's notoriously far-right sympathising supporters earlier this month

Agence France-Presse November 16, 2019 13:03:39 IST
World League Forum institutes anti-racism committee after members express worry over racist incidents during football matches
  • The WLF represents 40 leagues around the world including Europe's top divisions in England, Spain, Germany, Italy and France

  • The World League Forum said in a statement that its members were worried about racist incidents during matches

  • The leagues decided to set up an anti-racism committee to identify best practices and make recommendations

Paris: The World League Forum (WLF) has created an anti-racism committee following a spate of racist incidents in football stadia around the world, the representative body announced on Friday.

World League Forum institutes antiracism committee after members express worry over racist incidents during football matches

Mario Balotelli remonstrates with Brescia coach Eugenio Corini after being subjected to racist chants. AP

The WLF, which represents 40 leagues around the world including Europe's 'big five' top divisions in England, Spain, Germany, Italy and France, said in a statement that it members were "worried" about racist incidents during matches.

The leagues decided to set up the committee to "gather information" and "identify best practices and make recommendations", the statement continued.

A number of players have been racially abused by fans in recent months, with Brescia striker Mario Balotelli targeted by Hellas Verona's notoriously far-right sympathising supporters earlier this month and Shakhtar Donetsk captain Taison abused by Dynamo Kiev fans on Sunday.

Both players booted the ball at the fans shouting abuse at them, with Taison being sent off after also giving the finger to Dynamo Kiev's travelling support at the Metalist stadium in Kharkiv.

Balotelli had to be stopped from leaving the field by his teammates and Verona players, while Taison and fellow Brazilian Dentinho broke down in tears as their match — eventually won 1-0 by Shakhtar — had to be stopped due to the abuse.

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