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Infantino calls for automatic forfeit when fans commit racist abuse
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PA Sport staff
Press Association
Coventry midfielder Kasey Palmer reported racist abuse at Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday
Coventry midfielder Kasey Palmer reported racist abuse at Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has called for the implementation of an automatic forfeit of games for teams whose fans commit racist abuse after the "totally abhorrent" incidents at Udinese and Sheffield Wednesday.

AC Milan's players walked off the pitch after France international goalkeeper Mike Maignan reported hearing monkey noises coming from a section of the crowd at the Stadio Friuli.

Coventry's Kasey Palmer said he received similar abuse at Hillsborough and their 2-1 win was stopped for several minutes while the match officials spoke to both managers.

Milan's players eventually returned to secure a 3-2 victory in added time but Infantino said there should be harsher punishments.

He said in a FIFA post on X: "As well as the three-step process (match stopped, match re-stopped, match abandoned), we have to implement an automatic forfeit for the team whose fans have committed racism and caused the match to be abandoned, as well as worldwide stadium bans and criminal charges for racists.

"FIFA and football shows full solidarity to victims of racism and any form of discrimination. Once and for all: No to racism! No to any form of discrimination!

Mike Maignan informed officials of racist abuse at Udinese
Mike Maignan informed officials of racist abuse at Udinese

"The events that took place in Udine and Sheffield on Saturday are totally abhorrent and completely unacceptable. The players affected by Saturday's events have my undivided support.

"We need ALL the relevant stakeholders to take action, starting with education in schools so that future generations understand that this is not part of football or society."

Maignan said something had to change as racist abuse has been part of football for too long.

He told Milan TV after confirming he heard fans making monkey noises: "This shouldn't exist in the world of football but unfortunately for many years this is a recurrence.

"Something must be done to change things. We all have to react, we must do something because you can't play like this."

However, Coventry midfielder Palmer admitted he was sceptical things would change in the game, also writing on X: "Racism is a disgrace… it has no place in the world, let alone football.

"I'm black and proud and I am raising my three kids to be the exact same. I'll be honest, it feels like things will never change, no matter how hard we try.

"[A] couple [of] fans doing monkey chants doesn't define a fan base — I appreciate all the love and support I've received."


Sheffield WednesdayCoventryChampionshipAC MilanUdineseSerie AMike Maignan
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