Hindus have supported FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) President Joseph S. Blatter’s call for “tougher sanctions to be used to combat racism” in football.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that existing sanctions did not seem an effective deterrent and harsher sanctions were urgently needed.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, stressed that continuing racism and discrimination in football had to be stopped immediately and FIFA should show strong will, seriousness and guts to deal with it. It was 2013 and prevalence of racism and discrimination in sports should not be acceptable.
Rajan Zed argued that FIFA ; whose “promise” was to use “football as a symbol of hope and integration” and which stood for promoting “solidarity, regardless of gender, ethnic background, faith or culture”; had failed to deliver on racism issue and an urgent intervention was needed in this direction. If FIFA continued to fail to control the incidents of racism, FIFA itself should be disciplined, Zed added.
Zed further urged His Holiness Pope Francis and other religious leaders of the world to come out openly against racism in sports as we were all equal in the eyes of God.
Jerome Valcke is Secretary General of FIFA, international governing body of football with 209 member associations, founded in 1904 and based in Zurich (Switzerland).