(WFI) FIFA has extended sanctions globally on players from Ghana and Malta over match-fixing.

Sanctions were initially imposed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and the Italian Football Association (FIGC)
On 28 May 2014, CAS banned Maltese player Kevin Sammut from all football-related activities for 10 years after a UEFA investigation into fixing of a European Football Championship qualifier in 2007.

On 7 May 2014, the disciplinary committee of the FIGC banned Ghanaian player Mark Edusei from all football-related activities for three years and six months in relation to rigging a match in the Italian Serie B in 2009.

The FIFA Disciplinary Committee announced on Monday that it had decided to extend the sanctions to have worldwide effect in accordance with article 78 paragraph 1(c) and article 136ff. of the FIFA Disciplinary Code.

FIFA emphasized that it continues to work closely with its six regional confederations and member associations to tackle match-fixing.

Italian FA Official in Racism Row

FIFA has written a letter to the Italian FA asking it to investigate remarks made by the association’s presidential candidate Carlo Tavecchio who described African players as “banana eaters”.

Webb, head of FIFA’s Task Force against racism and discrimination and president of CONCACAF, posted a statement on the confederation’s website late Monday, condemning Tavecchio’s comments.

He said the football community was “appalled” by the racist comments made by Tavecchio a year after FIFA member associations unanimously approved a resolution to fight against racism and discrimination.

“After addressing the issue with the Italian Football Federation, FIFA and the anti-racism and discrimination task force are looking deeper into this matter, while awaiting its official response,” he said.

“The FIGC and the football family at large deserve exemplary leadership capable of directing the industry in a transparent way for a dignified, diverse and inclusive society. As guiding voices within our communities, we strongly urge all football officials to speak and act in a responsible manner, adhering to the principle of respect that every human merits.”

Tavecchio, a vice president of the Italian FA, came under fire for the comments that he made at an assembly of Italy’s amateur leagues. He said Italy should examine whether to follow the example set by England in its restrictions on non-EU players.

“Here instead we get ‘Opti Poba’, who previously ate bananas and then suddenly becomes a first team player with Lazio,” he was quoted as saying in a Reuters report.“That’s how it is here. In England, you need to demonstrate what you have on your CV and your pedigree.”

Tavecchio has apologised but refused to drop out of the race for the FIGC presidency. The vote is on Aug. 11.

In the letter to the Italian FA, FIFA also reminded its leaders “that the fight against racism is a top priority for FIFA”.
Last year, the FIFA Congress unanimously passed a strong resolution on the fight against racism and discrimination, which reminded member associations about their obligation to put every effort into eliminating racism and discrimination in football.

By INSIDER editor Mark Bisson

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