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Page last updated at 13:31 GMT, Wednesday, 8 October 2008 14:31 UK

Ferdinand condemns Fifa on racism

World Cup 2010 qualifying Group Six: England v Kazakhstan
Venue: Wembley Date: Saturday, 11 October Kick-off: 1715 BST Coverage: BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Sport website. Live on ITV1

Rio Ferdinand
The football authorities need to look at themselves

Rio Ferdinand

England vice-captain Rio Ferdinand has hit out at Fifa's approach to racist behaviour among fans, accusing world football's governing body of weakness.

Croatia fans targeted England players, and Emile Heskey in particular, during England's 4-1 win in Zagreb last month.

The Croatian FA was fined 15,000, but Ferdinand told BBC Radio 5 Live: "Fifa make comments about what they will do but never back it up with actions.

"The football authorities need to take a look at themselves."

Ferdinand, speaking ahead of England's World Cup qualifiers against Kazakhstan and Belarus, added: "Croatia were fined a few thousand quid. What's that going to do? That is not going to stop people shouting racist or homophobic abuse.

"(Fifa president) Sepp Blatter likes to speak up about things that are good for Fifa's image but I would love to see them stand up and dish out the right punishments for these incidents.

"If things like this keep happening you have to take points off them. Then the punters will realise the team is going to be punished."

Fifa did not want to respond directly to Ferdinand's remarks but said in a statement: "Fifa and Fifa president Joseph Blatter take the fight against racism in football very seriously.

"Fifa not only speaks very clearly about this issue, but carries out several campaigns and projects."

Ferdinand was also asked about the alleged abuse directed at Portsmouth defender Sol Campbell by Tottenham fans at Fratton Park last week.

And the 30-year-old was unequivocal in his response, saying: "The high-tech cameras should be able to pick up the people who are doing that kind of stuff and eject them from the ground. That is the only way I can see to stop it happening.

"We are talking about a football match. There are young kids present who want to be entertained, not hear someone a couple of rows back slagging players off."

Portsmouth reported the alleged abuse at Fratton Park to the Football Association, who said it would issue life bans to any fan it could prove was connected.

Complaints from Portsmouth fans after the match were made to Hampshire Police, who initially said they could not take action due to the number of people involved.

see also
Croatia fined over Heskey abuse
25 Sep 08 |  Internationals
FA boss wants abusive fans banned
07 Oct 08 |  Portsmouth
Portsmouth report Campbell abuse
05 Oct 08 |  Portsmouth
Campbell abuse filthy - Redknapp
01 Oct 08 |  Portsmouth
Lampard eyes midfield improvement
07 Oct 08 |  Internationals
Crouch seals 11m Portsmouth move
11 Jul 08 |  Portsmouth
Key England quartet miss training
07 Oct 08 |  Internationals
Pick your England XI
31 Aug 07 |  Internationals
Croatia 1-4 England
10 Sep 08 |  Internationals

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