Real Madrid star Vinicius Jr has been appointed to lead a FIFA anti-racism committee comprised of players, according to an announcement by president Gianni Infantino. The committee’s objective is to propose stricter penalties for discriminatory behavior in football, aiming to combat the pervasive issue of racism within the sport. Vinicius himself was subjected to racial abuse by fans during a match against Valencia in May, marking the 10th incident of its kind reported to prosecutors by LaLiga this season.
In addition to disciplinary and competition-related sanctions, FIFA intends to pursue legal action against perpetrators of racism in countries where such incidents occur. Infantino declared that football matches should be halted immediately when racism rears its ugly head, proclaiming, “There will be no more football with racism in it. Enough is enough.” The FIFA president expressed his seriousness about the matter after a meeting with Vinicius and the Brazil national team, who are participating in an anti-racism campaign led by the Brazilian Football Association (CBF) and will be playing against Guinea in Barcelona on Saturday.
Infantino tasked Vinicius with spearheading a group of players who will propose stricter punishments for racism, which will subsequently be implemented by football authorities worldwide. The aim is to create a safer environment for players, addressing their concerns and needs. “We will implement very blunt and strong punishments to end once and for all with the problem of racism in football,” asserted Infantino, emphasizing the urgent need to eradicate racism from the sport. He personally engaged in a conversation with Vinicius to demonstrate his commitment as FIFA president.
The incidents faced by Vinicius have sparked global support and placed pressure on LaLiga and the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) to take more decisive action against racism. However, Infantino emphasized that combating discrimination in football requires global measures, urging political authorities and local prosecutors in every country to tackle racism with utmost determination. The determination to root out racism from the beautiful game is evident, as FIFA, players like Vinicius, and football authorities around the world unite in their resolve to create a more inclusive and accepting environment on and off the field.