Sport

Racist abuse will be sackable offence after Patrice Evra and Luis Suarez incident damages Premier League

By Dean Wilkins

Racist abuse will be a sackable offence for all players in the Premier and Football League from next season as part of significant changes.

Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association, is making the proposals after the controversy between Manchester United’s Patrice Evra and Liverpool’s Luis Suarez marred last season.

Taylor said the changes will show how seriously the PFA take racism and will set the standards for all.

Racist abuse will be treated as gross misconduct and club’s will have the ultimate decision of terminating any contract but Taylor said they ‘could be held responsible for condoning [racism]’.

“Racist abuse, if found guilty, will be classed as gross misconduct and a reason to terminate a contract. I feel it’s important to highlight it, bearing in mind what has happened, and not mess about with it and not afford for anybody to be ambiguous about what the consequences are,” he said.

He added: “If any player is found guilty of racist abuse, the club and the player need to be aware that could be a solid reason for terminating the contract.”

Taylor will present the suggestion to the Professional Football Negotiating and Consultative Committee (PFNCC) and he is confident it will be approved.

“We’re just about to bring it to the PFNCC, the body by which we bring the issues to the Premier League and Football League, and I don’t see a problem with that being introduced,” he said.

Former England and Chelsea skipper John Terry will appear in court on July 9 following allegations of racist abuse directed towards QPR’s Anton Ferdinand.

Uruguayan Luis Suarez was banned for eight matches for racially abusing Evra at Anfield in October.

Taylor said the incidents which marred the last seasons was a ‘reality check’ but told the Guardian that by working in tandem with the League Managers’ Association new education programmes can clamp down on the issue.

“Rather than just concentrate on the young apprentices as part of their curriculum, we want to introduce it to all senior players, and also that when players come in from abroad, to try and have an educational process for them and the owners of the club and management,” said Taylor.

“It will be part of the duty of [player liaison officers] introducing any player coming in from abroad to go through a list of things, particularly in the player’s contract, where you see about racist abuse, code of conduct and what is expected in this country on racism and equality issues.”

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