Sepp Blatter has problems with soccer’s strategy for combating racism.
The FIFA president says partial- or full-stadium bans amount to an “excessive” and “collective” punishment of innocent fans.
“Football without a crowd is like a concert without sound,” Blatter wrote in his column in FIFA Weekly, according to Sky Sports.
“Games behind closed doors are also included in the (FIFA) code but I regard this penalty as an extremely dubious instrument. They represent a disproportionately collective punishment.
“Furthermore it involves excluding innocent fans of the opposing team. In the final analysis matches played behind closed doors penalize football. The punishment is unduly excessive.”
Blatter then said that clubs bear the responsibility of policing their stadiums. He suggests points deductions as a way of sanctioning clubs whose fans engage in racial abuse or discrimination.
“Instead it is the troublemakers who must be punished,” Blatter wrote. “And it is clear to me that the clubs are responsible for the hooligans.
“To my mind there remains only one solution to the problem: sporting sanctions are the only effective punishment. It has to cause the clubs real hurt otherwise nothing will change.”
Blatter and FIFA have been criticized for not doing more to eliminate racism from soccer. While soccer authorities can’t rid the game of society’s ills by themselves, they must lead the fight against racism (by example among other ways) rather than adopting a new role as enforcers or punishers of clubs and fans.