UEFA is implementing harsher penalties for racist behavior. (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)
The Union of European Football Associations will introduce a minimum 10-match ban for racist abuse by players or officials, the confederation announced. UEFA's executive committee also decided to increase the punishment from 10 matches to 15 matches for assaulting match officials. Insulting an official will now cost a player three matches instead of two.
UEFA has also recommended that officials halt matches if there are incidents of "serious racism" from either the fans or players on the field. UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino said on Thursday that clubs will face partial closure of stadiums for a first instance of racist abuse by fans and a full closure for a second offense with a fine of 50,000 euros ($64,400).
The new sanctions will be adopted and applied immediately to all European matches with UEFA hoping its 53 national associations will follow suit.
"We are sending a very strong message that this kind of behaviour will no longer be tolerated in any form," Infantino said.