UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin assured the fans that the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) is committed to doing everything it can to eliminate racism from the game.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, terming “rise of nationalism” for the encouraging abuse, Ceferin urged governments and NGOs (non-governmental organisations) to escalate the “war on the racists” to help football authorities eliminate it from stadiums.
“Believe me, UEFA is committed to doing everything it can to eliminate this disease from football,” Ceferin said, adding, “We cannot afford to be content with this. We must always strive to strengthen our resolve.
“More broadly, the football family – everyone from administrators to players, coaches and fans – needs to work with governments and NGOs (non-governmental organisations) to wage war on the racists and to marginalise their abhorrent views to the fringes of society.
“There were times, not long ago, when the football family thought that the scourge of racism was a distant memory. The last couple of years have taught us that such thinking was, at best, complacent.
“The rise of nationalism across the continent has fuelled some unacceptable behaviour and some have taken it upon themselves to think that a football crowd is the right place to give voice to their appalling views.”
It is to note that racist chants from supporters forced the match officials to stop the Euro 2020 qualifier tie between England and Bulgaria twice on Tuesday.
Riding on braces from Ross Barkley and Raheem Sterling, England thrashed Bulgaria 6-0 at the Vasil Levski National Stadium.