Aleksander Ceferin: Uefa president says football needs to do more to tackle racism
Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin says he doesn’t think “anybody is doing enough” to tackle racism in football.
European football’s governing body has repeatedly come under fire for failing to deal with the issue following several high-profile incidents.
Speaking to BBC Sport, Ceferin said that European football’s governing body “could do more”.
But he added racism is a “societal problem”, blaming the “frightening” rise of right-wing politics in Europe.
“I don’t think that anybody’s doing enough for racism,” said the Slovenian, who became Uefa president in 2016.
“We’re trying to do as much as we can. I don’t say we cannot improve and we are trying to improve.
“But it’s a problem that is more than just football. It’s a societal problem.
“Football is always the reflection of society and in Europe, I would say things are worse and worse every year.”
In October, England players were abused by fans during a Euro 2020 qualifier against Bulgaria in Sofia, while all 20 Italian Serie A clubs have recently made a united pledge to combat Italian football’s “serious problem” with racism.
After the abuse of England fans, Ceferin said the “football family” and governments must “wage war on the racists” but he told BBC Sport he believes Uefa is not receiving enough support.
“I think we could do more. We have to try to do more,” he said.
“And we will. But it’s not an easy thing to do. It’s a wide problem. It’s a problem that we need support from the governments.
“I can say that we need support of governments and we don’t have much support of the governments.”
Uefa’s three-step protocol for dealing with racism has been criticised by players including Watford captain Troy Deeney, but Ceferin says the governing body knows its sanctions are “not enough”.
Its rules currently state that a game can only be abandoned if fans have been warned twice.
“There’s no magic stick to tell us what exactly to do to stop it immediately,” he said.
“But we are well aware that we have to do more, that we have to try more and the situation is not the same as 20 years ago.
“It’s much worse and it’s getting worse and worse.”