Monday, April 20, 2009

WSLR Speaker Calls For Action On Player Abuse

Nick Cusack, Senior Executive at the Professional Footballers’ Association, has called on football authorities to 'get tough’ in their efforts to curb abuse from football crowds.

‘Unless FIFA and UEFA deduct points or disqualify teams from competitions for this kind of behaviour, players will be forced to take matters into their own hands and refuse to play when abuse occurs’, Cusack told an event hosted by the Crown Prosecution Service at Charlton Athletic's ground, reported The Guardian. ‘This has not happened yet but would be fully justified if this was to continue. The current financial punishments handed down to national football associations hardly send a strong message to players that the football authorities are acting proportionately.’

Cusack, who is speaking at World Sports Law Report’s briefing on The Credit Crunch: Implications for Sport, noted that while efforts to combat racist abuse have been largely successful, homophobic and Islamaphobic abuse are on the increase.

‘As a player, you accept criticism and mild abuse as part and parcel of the game but the more rabid and vituperative it becomes the more you feel that you should not have to tolerate it, and the authorities should be more proactive in reducing excess in that regard’, he said.

For more information on The Credit Crunch: Implications for Sport, which will be held on 8 May at the London offices of K&L Gates, click here, contact me by email or on  +44 (0)20 7012 1383.

Erika Joyce



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