UEFA

UEFA president condemns 'sickening fascist nostalgia' in stadiums

UEFA president condemns 'sickening fascist nostalgia' in stadiums

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin added that in 2019, he was ashamed to see banana skins thrown onto football pitches and hear monkey noises coming from the stands.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin, in an opening address as part of UEFA's #EqualGame conference in London said he was ashamed to see banana skins thrown onto football pitches and hear monkey noises coming from the stands.

The Slovenian also spoke out against 'sickening fascist nostalgia' in stadiums and said it shamed soccer that there were still places in the world where women could not play or attend games.

"It is worrying to see certain leaders and politicians playing down these incidents when they occur in their own countries," he added.

Momir Durdevac, the general secretary of the Montenegro FA, told delegates later through a translator that he had heard no racist abuse at the match and blamed a "handful of idiots' if there had been any.

He said they should be condemned, rather than the country, and apologised "to all those who have gained a very bad impression from Podgorica."

Zero tolerance

English Football Association chairman Greg Clarke called for zero tolerance on racism and said it needed to be easier for referees to stop a game and take players off the pitch if racially abused.

Addressing the conference, Clarke said he had rewritten a planned speech after racist abuse of England players in Montenegro last week.

He said UEFA's three-step protocol on tackling racism could be improved.

The protocol allows the referee to stop a match if 'racist behaviour is of a strong magnitude and intensity'.

"There should be no judgement call on whether something is of a strong magnitude," said Clarke. "Racism is racism and we should have zero tolerance for it."