FIFA President Sepp Blatter denounced the idea of relegating or deducting points from clubs whose supporters are found guilty of racism, suggesting that this might encourage fans to deliberately attempt to stop games. Blatter had suggested in January the possible introduction of such sanctions but has now backed away from that stance.
"Where does it end? How far can we go? To what extent can we expect that a game is stopped, by players walking off the field? Can we stop it by deducting points or by relegating a team? Or will this lead to persons coming to the stadium wanting to stop the game intentionally? There is so much passion in soccer," Blatter said during a speech at an event in Zurich.
After the speech, he told reporters: "We have to do something but the danger is if we say the match will be replayed, or there will be a deduction of points or whatever, this can open the door for groups of hooligans to create these problems. That is why the control of the stadium will be essential."
Instead, Blatter said that FIFA would be asking for uniform sanctions worldwide, a measure that would be put to the annual FIFA Congress in May. However, just what those sanctions will be still remains to be seen.