Real Madrid’s forward, Vinicius Jr, has been tapped by FIFA President Gianni Infantino to lead an exclusive committee dedicated to eradicating racism from the sport of football.
Infantino, in a recent interview with Reuters, revealed that this initiative will focus on establishing more stringent penalties for any form of discriminatory conduct on the football pitch.
Vinicius Jr, a prominent Brazilian forward, has unfortunately been subjected to racial abuse multiple times this season, with ten instances reported by LaLiga to the prosecuting authorities alone, the most recent being during a match against Valencia in May.
FIFA’s president, Infantino, made a resounding statement during his Thursday meeting with Vinicius and the Brazilian national team, who are currently preparing for their match against Guinea in Barcelona this Saturday. This match is a part of the anti-racism campaign initiated by the Brazilian FA (CBF).
“There is no place for racism in football. Games should be halted the moment any racial abuse occurs. We have reached the limit,” said Infantino. His urgent call for action is fuelled by the increasingly prevalent incidents of racism in football.
The FIFA president has personally entrusted Vinicius Jr to head this influential group of players, who will propose severe disciplinary measures against racial discrimination in football. These recommendations will later be enforced by football governing bodies across the globe.
He added, “We need to listen to the players and ensure they have a secure environment in which to work. Our commitment to addressing this issue is unshakeable. The sanctions need to be intensified; there is no room for any form of racism in football.”
Infantino further stressed that he felt a personal obligation, as FIFA’s president, to discuss the matter directly with Vinicius Jr. This move underlines FIFA’s commitment to tackling the pressing issue of racism in the global football community.