Fifa give referees power to abandon games in the face of discrimination

Referees will have the power to abandon games in the face of discrimination from the stands under a new three-step procedure unveiled by FIFA ahead of the start of the Confederations Cup in Russia.

In addition, the world governing body has announced it will deploy anti-discrimination observers at all games of the tournament to monitor the behaviour of supporters of both teams.

Under the three-step procedure, referees will have the right to first stop the match and request a public announcement that any discriminatory behaviour cease, then to suspend the match until such behaviour stops, and finally to abandon it completely.

Fifa give referees power to abandon games in the face of discrimination

FIFA president Gianni Infantino said: "The work that has been carried out in FIFA World Cup qualifier matches in all confederations will now also be implemented for the first time in a FIFA tournament.

"Together with the possibility to apply the three-step procedure, these are ground-breaking changes in the global fight against discrimination that will mark the 2017 edition of the FIFA Confederations Cup.

"Both initiatives are extra tools for the referees and match officials to prevent discriminatory attitudes and ensure that the atmosphere in the stadium is one of fair play and respect."

Hosts Russia kick off the eight-team tournament against New Zealand in St Petersburg on Saturday. The final is also scheduled to take place in St Petersburg on July 2.

- PA

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