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Regional Soccer Referees Given Instructions On Handling Racist Chants From Fans

As soccer organizations worldwide are being urged to put a stop to the racist chanting that takes place from fans during some games, Soccer referees in North and Central America and the Caribbean have been given clear instructions on how to handle the issue. The regional body of the sport, CONCACAF, has developed a protocol on how to handle racist incidents in all future matches moving forward.

If a referee hears racist chanting or taunts the first time, they should stop the game and order a public-address announcement for the behavior to stop. A second instance will result in players being pulled off the field for up to 10 minutes followed by a second announcement, while a third offense can potentially result in a referee calling off the game.

“The procedure outlines a clear and precise approach of zero tolerance for racist or discriminatory incidents that may arise during matches,” said CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb.

Last October, Manchester city midfielder Yaya Toure claimed he heckled with monkey chants during a game against CKSA Moscow, claims which were backed up by referee Ovidiu Hategan. “I’m not just disappointed, I’m furious,” said Toure. “I’m very, very disappointed about what those fans have done today and I think UEFA have to take action because players with the same color of skin will always be in the same position. For me, as captain, I was wearing an armband which said ‘No to racism’ and I was totally disappointed.”

This isn’t the first time racist chanting has taken place at a pro soccer match, though. Lazio was ordered to close part of their stadium this season after racist chanting during a Europa League game against Legia Warsaw in September.

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