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Gavin Newlands MP writes to FIFA over disbanding of anti-racism taskforce

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has written to FIFA in his role as the SNP Westminster Sport Spokesperson to express his disappointment over the decision by FIFA to disband their anti-racism taskforce.

Football’s world governing body has said that the taskforce has fulfilled its specific mandate, but the decision has been met with wide criticism from players, such as Yaya Toure, and other anti-discrimination organisations such as Kick It Out and Show Racism the Red Card.

The taskforce’s recommendations included introducing extra observers at games and tough penalties for clubs whose players, officials or fans are guilty of racism. Gavin Newlands MP commented: “FIFA still has a lot of work to do to stamp out racism in all levels of the game, so I have written to FIFA asking them to reverse this decision and to reinstate the taskforce with immediate effect. As we approach the 2018 World Cup in Russia, and with racist incidents at football grounds on the rise, it seems counterproductive for FIFA to disband their taskforce.

“To say that taskforce’s aims have been achieved seems ludicrous, as the fight against racism is far from over. Players and fans at all levels of the game feel that there is still racism in football. FIFA has a responsibility to tackle all kinds of discrimination in the game and this decision sends completely the wrong message to everyone involved in football and needs to be reversed immediately.”

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