Football

Ukrainian FA Defend Decision To Ban Player For Reacting To Racial Abuse

Ukrainian FA Defend Decision To Ban Player For Reacting To Racial Abuse

The issue of racism in football continues to rear its ugly head, with a new incident seemingly making its way into the public realm on a weekly basis. The latest incident came from Ukraine, with Shakhtar Donetsk's Taison the subject of the abuse.

The Brazilian was playing in a league game against Dynamo Kiev when he was targeted by members of the opposition support. He reacted in an understandably angry manner, gesturing to the crowd and booting the ball into the stand.

Remarkably, the player was sent off for his response.

Taison would go on to to be hit with a one game ban by the Ukrainian FA, a decision that was widely condemned. A member of the organisation has now come out to defend the punishment.

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Igor Gryshchuk, secretary of control and disciplinary committee of the Ukrainian Association of Football, was speaking to Ukrainian television when he made these comments (h/t The Independent):

Why it was important to hold the player accountable for such behaviour? Because the gesture... was also broadcast on TV.

We understand that the player addressed it to the stalls only and to the fans who expressed certain emotions against him – but those who watched the game on TV, including the children, could not perceive the gesture in a proper way.

In any case, this behaviour and reaction deserved a red card, referee did a right thing when he used it, in our opinion. That’s why the player had to be held accountable...

Regular punishment for such an action, for such gestures is a three-match ban. But taking into account all circumstances of the case, all mitigating circumstances, addresses by our colleagues from the FIFPro and that this behaviour was provoked by fans’ racist chants, we used the mildest sanction.

The move had been slammed by FIFPro, who said "sanctioning a victim of racial abuse is beyond comprehension and it plays into the hands of those who promote this kind of disgraceful behaviour."

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Gary Connaughton

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