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Football Racism: Stadiums Could Be Closed

Uefa could impose partial stadium closures and 10-match bans for racism in European football after agreeing to toughen sanctions.

The Uefa Executive Committee, meeting in London, agreed the measures alongside penalties for match-fixing and increasing anti-doping initiatives.

From June 1, a partial stadium closure will be brought in for the first offence of racism by spectators, with a full stadium closure for a second offence and a euro 50,000 (£43,000) fine to the spectators' club.

Players or officials found guilty of racial discrimination will be handed a minimum 10-match ban.

The minimum ban for insulting match officials has also been increased from two to three matches and any assaults on match officials will now result in a minimum 15-game ban.

The decisions were taken in line with Uefa's zero-tolerance policy and follow an anti-racism resolution adopted by the Professional Football Strategy Council in March.

Speaking at the meeting, Uefa general secretary Gianni Infantino said: "We are keen to do whatever we can to fight the scourges of our sport.

"Uefa now has some experience in the last 10 years. We had over 120 cases of racism, and we have seen that, unfortunately, the sanctions that were taken were not sufficient to eradicate racism.

"For this reason, it was very important to send out a strong message - on the one side, we improve our awareness campaigns, and on the other side, we strengthen our sanctions against racism."

Uefa will also begin conducting blood tests in its competitions from next season, including the launch of a research study to measure the steroid profiles of players.

It comes after high-profile case in the Premier League where Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was banned for eight games for racially abusing Patrice Evra in 2011 and Chelsea captain John Terry received a four-game ban for racially abusing Anton Ferdinand in 2012.