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FA to review racism sanctions

ACTION: FA chairman David Bernstein

THE FA has revealed plans to review the way it deals with charges of racism in football days after several players boycotted Kick It Out.

Footballers, including Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand and Reading striker Jason Roberts, chose not to wear T-shirts in support of the campaign to express dismay over efforts to address racism.

David Bernstein, the chairman of the FA, defended the punishment already handed to John Terry for racially abusing Anton Ferdinand in October 2011, but the football chief said certain processes and reprimands would be reviewed.

A review could potentially result in stiffer sanctions being implemented for racially aggravated offences.

Bernstein, talking at the launch of a FA 150th anniversary event, said: It's on the agenda to look at it again.

"I think the tariffs will need looking at, but given the existing scenarios and given other punishments elsewhere, actually, the commission got it pretty much right."

Bernstein expressed sympathy towards the Ferdinand family for the controversy and fallout from Terry’s choice of language at Loftus Road.

“I have great respect for all the parties, for Anton Ferdinand and Rio Ferdinand”, he said.

“Of course, I understand their sensitivities. They have had a pretty rough time. Anton has had a very difficult time as has his family.

“The fact this thing has taken so long – even though I would justify the process – certainly hasn't helped. I have every sympathy for Anton.”

The FA chairman acknowledged the difficult situation the Ferdinand brothers have been placed under – particularly the contentious issue of not wearing the Kick It Out shirts. “I am fairly clear of the issues regarding the FA, which revolve around the time it's taken and the length of the penalty”, he said.

“As between themselves and Kick It Out, that's for them to resolve. The issues around the FA are clear.”

Anger over the the spate of incidents has led for calls to set up a black players union to act as an independent voice for its members.

Bernstein said it would be counter-productive and was an idea he would not support.

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