CAPTION: President of Universal Society of Hinduism Rajan Zed. Photo: FILE.
Hindus have applauded UEFA (The Union of European Football Associations) for approving “stricter sanctions against racist conduct”.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, commending UEFA for introducing stricter sanctions for racist behavior, stressed that it was 2013 and prevalence of racism and discrimination in sports should not be acceptable.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, asked FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) also to introduce harsher sanctions against racism. He argued that both UEFA and FIFA had failed to deliver in the past on racism issue and an urgent intervention was needed in this direction.
Rajan Zed pointed out that reported racist chanting during a match between AC Milan and Roma on May 12 was a recent example. In January also, racist chants reportedly occurred in a friendly between Milan and Pro Patria.
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.
Having more women and non-white members on its Executive Committee would add to the credibility of UEFA on its stand against racism and discrimination, which currently had only one women member, Rajan Zed added.
The new UEFA Disciplinary Regulations, arrived at UEFA Executive Committee meeting in London which ended on May 23, include tougher sanctions to fight racist behavior at football matches. These include a partial stadium closure for the first offence and a full stadium closure for the second such offence coupled with a €50,000 fine for racist behavior by spectators; a minimum ten-match ban for such behavior by players/officials; minimum of three match ban for insulting match officials; and minimum of 15-match ban for assault on match officials.
A separate resolution to fight racism is being put forward to the Ordinary UEFA Congress being held on May 24.
Headquartered in Nyon (Switzerland), UEFA (The Union des Associations Europeennes de Football), founded in 1954, is the administrative body for association football in Europe and, partially, Asia, and has 53 associations under its wing. Michel Platini and Gianni Infantino are President and General Secretary respectively of UEFA, which states: “the colour of the skin is invisible under the jersey”.