Act tough on racism: PFA

Act tough on racism: PFA

English footballers association issues six-point action plan

The English Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) issued a six-point action plan to help deal with racism on Wednesday following a series of high profile developments in the fallout from the John Terry-Anton Ferdinand case.

The PFA has been criticised for not doing enough to tackle the problem, but responded by saying the time was right for tougher penalties. The plan comes a day after David Bernstein, the chairman of the Football Association, said the FA's sanctions for racial abuse were being reviewed.

The response from the FA and the PFA comes after Reading striker Jason Roberts, a member of the PFA's management committee, expressed frustration that the problem of racism was not being dealt with properly by the sport's authorities.  Roberts was the catalyst behind the move to boycott the wearing of anti-racism warm-up T-shirts during the Kick It Out organisation's annual anti-racism weekend last Saturday and Sunday.

Rio Ferdinand and brother Anton were part of the boycott and issued a joint statement on Wednesday which said: "Times change and organisations need to change with them.

We are more than happy to join the discussion, privately, to make Kick It Out more relevant in its fight to stamp out racism in football."

PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor also called for unity among players following widespread media reports that some were considering forming a breakaway organisation for black footballers.

The Ferdinands statement said: "Although we have been left disappointed by the PFA and the FA's actions over the last year, as a family, we are committed to working with football's existing organisations towards the betterment of the game and to achieve immediate action."

FA chairman Bernstein said that the domestic governing body will review its sanctions for racist abuse following the Terry case.  The Chelsea captain is serving a four-match domestic suspension after the FA found him guilty of racially abusing Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand a year ago. He was also fined 220,000 pounds ($350,700) despite being found not guilty in a criminal case.

There was widespread criticism in the media from players that Terry escaped lightly after Liverpool's Uruguay forward Luis Suarez was banned for eight matches for racially abusing Manchester United's France defender Patrice Evra last year.

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