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Italian football brings in tougher sanctions for racist abuse

Italian football brings in new sanctions for racism
© AP Photos
Italian football draws up guidelines to impose automatic 10-game bans for anyone found guilty of racial abuse.

Italian football has drawn up guidelines to impose automatic 10-game bans for anyone found guilty of racial abuse.

A meeting on Tuesday saw the Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio (FIGC) set out the rules to suspend any player who is found to be guilty of racism.

The new plans state that: "[Any person who] insults the human dignity of a person or group of persons, including reasons tied to the colour of skin, race, religion or ethnic origin, will receive a ban of at least 10 games or any other sanction considered appropriate."

Anyone who is found to be guilty twice will see their respective club given a fine of €50,000 (£42,000) and the team will be forced to play a match behind closed doors.

Further abuse can be lead to point deductions or even disqualification from competition.

Italian football has had a well-documented problem with racism this year. AC Milan playmaker Kevin-Prince Boateng walked off during a practice match at Pro Patria in January after being victimised by the home fans.

His club teammate Mario Balotelli has also been singled out for racist abuse from both Roma and Inter Milan supporters since his return to Serie A in the winter transfer window.

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Milan striker Mario Balotelli celebrates a goal against Torino on May 5, 2013
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