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Players' body: Racial abusers should be sacked

Associated Press Modified: October 24, 2012 at 9:02 am •  Published: October 24, 2012

LONDON (AP) — England's players' union wants stiffer punishment for racial abuse in the wake of high-profile cases in the Premier League.

Such abuse should be considered "gross misconduct," and football authorities should have the option to fire players and terminate contracts, the Professionals Footballers' Association says.

The PFA revealed its ideas on Wednesday in an attempt to curtail plans for a breakaway black players' union.

High-profile players including Rio and Anton Ferdinand and Joleon Lescott refused at the weekend to wear T-shirts for the anti-discrimination campaign Kick It Out because they perceived a lack of action in recent cases of racism.

The PFA also wants English football to adopt something akin to the NFL's Rooney Rule, which forces clubs to at least interview, if not select, ethnic minorities for positions.

Since the Rooney Rule was introduced in 2003, the NFL has seen a 550 percent increase in black coaches. As part of the PFA plan, black coaches will be monitored and their results highlighted.

Of the top 92 clubs in England, only four have black managers.

Other ideas included speeding up the "process of dealing with reported racist abuse with close monitoring of any incidents," and helping individuals or clubs who have committed an offence to see the wrong in their ways by undertaking an equality awareness program.

The plan also aims to not distract attention from other inequalities, such as "gender, sexual orientation, disability, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and Asians."


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