Gelson Fernandes calls for forfeit defeats for racist abuse
The Eintracht Frankfurt midfielder has called for stronger punishment for racism in football as he revealed online abuse directed at him.
Eintracht Frankfurt midfielder Gelson Fernandes believes the punishment for racist abuse in a football match should be a forfeit defeat.
Fernandes thinks more needs to be done to tackle the issue following a series of incidents throughout Europe, including those involving Chelsea supporters abusing Manchester City's Raheem Sterling and Lazio fans directing discriminatory chants towards Franck Kessie and Tiémoué Bakayoko.
The Switzerland international opened up about his own such experiences, saying he received abusive messages via Instagram in the wake of receiving a straight red card just three minutes after coming on as a substitute in Frankfurt's DFB-Pokal semi-final against Schalke in April 2018.
Fernandes also stated his car was vandalised by racists while playing on loan at Chievo during the 2010-11 season, and he feels stronger punishment is needed to eradicate racism from the game.
Fernandes: "Fans would think twice"
"Racist incidents in football [make me sad]," he told Blick. "FIFA president Gianni Infantino calls for the game to stop immediately in the case of racist incidents.
"I would go further; there should be a forfeit defeat for that club straight away. Then the fans would think twice about insulting someone racially. And many clubs would do more to ensure that doesn't happen.
"These are things you do not want to experience as a footballer and as a person."
Eintracht play Chelsea in the second leg of the Europa League semi-finals at Stamford Bridge on Thursday with the Premier League club having been investigated by UEFA this season for alleged racist incidents.
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