Judith Bunting, Liberal Democrat MEP for the South East of England, has written to UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin following the racist abuse directed at England’s black players on Monday evening in Sofia, Bulgaria.
In the letter, which was co-signed by 35 cross-party MEPs, Judith says: “It is appalling to see players subjected to this kind of abuse and discrimination. While we welcome the measures already taken, such as the introduction of disciplinary proceedings against Bulgaria and, in consequence, the resignation of the President of the Bulgarian Football Union, more stringent measures must be established throughout football in Europe.”
The letter specifically called for UEFA to increase action to prohibit Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, in order to ensure all football authorities and fans in Europe are aware that such behaviour will result in severe consequences.
UEFA today released a statement which read: “…the football family thought that the scourge of racism was a distant memory. The last couple of years have taught us that such thinking was, at best, complacent.”
While Judith welcomes the statement, she is eager to impress upon UEFA the importance of taking a zero-tolerance approach. She says: “UEFA must take action against anyone found to be abusing player…this behaviour cannot be tolerated.”