Real Madrid’s Vinícius Júnior will lead a special FIFA anti-racism committee made up of players who will suggest stricter punishments for discriminatory behaviour in football, President Gianni Infantino said on Thursday, June 15.
The Brazil international was racially abused by fans when Real Madrid played away to Valencia in May, the latest such incident in which the 22-year-old has been a victim.
Infantino met Brazil and Real Madrid forward Vinícius, the victim of several shocking racism incidents while playing for his club this season, and sent a powerful message, saying that football cannot go on when there is discrimination.
“It’s very important not just to talk about racism and discrimination, but to take action in a decisive and convincing manner – zero tolerance,” Gianni Infantino said after the meeting in Barcelona, Spain.
“FIFA is together with the Brazilian Football Confederation and with all the players in this fight. It’s important to introduce sporting sanctions and I congratulate CBF for having done so already.”
The FIFA President, who also met the Brazilian national team and the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) President Ednaldo Rodrigues, said that FIFA would set up a task force which will work with FIFA to make specific recommendations, with Vinícius Júnior taking a prominent role.
The FIFA President said it was imperative that match officials stop a match when players were subject to abuse.
“There is no football if there is racism! So let’s stop the games,” he said. “The referees have this opportunity in FIFA competitions as we have this process for stopping the game, and actions have to be taken at every level, at national level as well. Everyone has to understand this and we will go, together, until the end.”