Brazilian Soccer Starts to Punish for Racism

Halfpoint /
Halfpoint /

Racism is found everywhere. However, the Brazil Football Federation (CBF) has decided to make combatting it a priority. Enaldo Rodrigues is the first black person to lead the CBF – and Kick It Out’s chairman Tony Burnett has said that he welcomes discussing how there will be punishments.

The CBF has already confirmed that they will be the first to punish incidents of racist abuse and racism with points deductions. This will take effect on February 21.

Rodrigues has the support of Brazil – and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the country’s newest president, even made a point of announcing the penalties for racism and other crimes.

The first instance will involve the club being fined. The second instance will require either the club to be forced to play away or “behind doors” without fans present. The third case will involve the club receiving a points deduction.

The FA has been asked if they’re going to follow suit.

Right now, the FA imposes bans for guilty participants – including up to a 12-game ban. If groups of fans are deemed guilty, it can also lead to fines for the clubs and stadium closures.
Scotland’s SFA takes a bit of a stronger approach, including hefty fines for the clubs and the possibility of suspension or termination of memberships. In Scotland, however, football clubs aren’t held responsible for the discriminatory behavior of supporters. A spokesperson for the Scottish government spoke to Sky Sports News and explained, “Hatred and bigotry of any kind is completely and utterly unacceptable. We continue to work with football authorities, Police Scotland and fans’ groups to address issues and ensure football matches are a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone.”

With Brazil taking the first real step to hold clubs responsible for their fans’ actions, it’s only a matter of time before other organizations will follow suit.

As Rodrigues has said, “the fight against racism is urgent. Measures have been discussed for centuries and never put into practice. CBF is doing its part.”

The question becomes who else will do their part…and when.