FIFA under fire for disbanding anti-racism task force

Mon Sep 26, 2016 2:25pm EDT
 
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By Chris Bertram

MANCHESTER (Reuters) - World soccer's governing body FIFA was under fire on Monday for winding up its anti-racism task force with former presidential candidate Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan describing the move as worrying and shameful.

FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura confirmed the decision when she spoke to the Soccerex conference in Manchester, saying the task force had a "very specific mandate".

"We will turn its work into a strong program of zero tolerance policy toward discrimination of any kind, including violation of human rights," she said. "We can live with perception (created by disbanding the task force) but we are taking very firm action."

However, Prince Ali, a former FIFA executive committee member who has twice run for the presidency, said that "the notion that the current FIFA leadership believes that the task force’s recommendations have been implemented is shameful."

He added that the announcement was "incredibly worrying".

"Never has the need to combat racism and racial discrimination been more evident than it is in the world we live in today," Prince Ali said in a statement.

"It is not something that any governing body with any semblance of responsibility can down play or deny.

"The reality, as with many programs within FIFA, is that the task force was never given real support since its conception and its role was more about FIFA's image than actually tackling the issues."   Continued...

 
Cars drive past a logo in front of FIFA's headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland June 8, 2016. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann