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Thursday, 10 October, 2002, 14:12 GMT 15:12 UK
Uefa issues anti-racism plan
Thierry Henry of Arsenal and France
Henry was the subject of racist abuse at Eindhoven
European football governing body Uefa has called upon clubs to be more aggressive in the battle against racism.

Uefa's disciplinary body announced on Thursday a 10-point plan to combat racism, following a meeting called to deal with four cases of alleged racism against players at English clubs.

The plan, accompanied by a letter from Uefa president Lennart Johansson, has been circulated to national associations, leagues and clubs throughout Europe.

Uefa's plan urges clubs to take a number of steps to try to stamp out racism at their grounds:

  • Issue a statement saying the club will not tolerate racism, spelling out the action it will take against those engaged in racist chanting. The statement should be printed in all match programmes and displayed permanently and prominently around the ground.

  • Make public address announcements condemning racist chanting at matches.

  • Make it a condition for season ticket holders that they do not take part in racist abuse.

  • Take action to prevent the sale of racist literature inside and around the ground.

  • Take disciplinary action against players who engage in racial abuse.

  • Contact other clubs to make sure they understand the club's policy on racism.

  • Encourage a common strategy between stewards and police for dealing with racist abuse.

  • Remove all racist graffiti from the ground as a matter of urgency.

  • Adopt an equal opportunities policy in relation to employment and service provision.

  • Work with all other groups and agencies to develop pro-active programmes and make progress to raise awareness of campaigning to eliminate racial abuse and discrimination.

Uefa is expected to rule on the four incidents later on Friday.

Fulham's Uefa Cup game in Croatia against Hajduk Split and Ipswich Town's match at FC Sartid in Yugoslavia were marred by racist incidents.

Johansson has urged clubs to step up their attempts to battle racism

Arsenal striker Thierry Henry complained of being racially abused by PSV Eindhoven fans in the Champions League.

And there were also claims by Liverpool that Emile Heskey had been the target of racist chants in their game at Valencia.

With the exception of PSV, none of the clubs involved have a previous record of racist fan behaviour. Punishments are therefore most likely to be based on fines.

The letter, issued by Johansson and chief executive Gerhard Aigner, said: "Uefa's policy of total opposition to all forms of racism and xenophobia has been known for some time.

"We continue to urge all member associations, leagues and clubs to develop their own initiatives to raise awareness and oppose racism at a national and local level.

"Of course no one organisation can solve this problem. Everyone involved, including the clubs, fans, players, police and those responsible for stewarding, has a responsibility here."

Former Wimbledon striker Robbie Earle
"The clubs must take responsibility, ultimately"
Liverpool striker Emile Heskey
"You just have to get on with it"
FA director of international strategy David Davies
"We need new thinking across Europe"

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