- The Washington Times - Monday, July 31, 2006

1:20 p.m.

NYON, Switzerland (AP) — Players making racist remarks or gestures could be banned for up to five matches, according to new disciplinary regulations announced today by European soccer’s governing body.

Anyone who insults the human dignity of a person or group of persons, by whatever means, including on grounds of color, race, religion or ethnic origin will face a maximum five-game ban.

In addition, any club whose supporters engage in racist or discriminatory conduct will receive a minimum fine of $24,250.

UEFA also said it can impose additional sanctions, such as forcing teams to play in an empty stadium, closing grounds, awarding matches by default, deducting points and disqualifying teams from competitions.

The body said that any form of extremist ideological propaganda is banned.

The regulations also state that players who simulate fouls or injuries to dupe the referee into making an incorrect decision will face a maximum two-match suspension.

If five players or more from the same team are shown yellow cards in the same match, the team can be punished under new “improper conduct of a team” regulations.

The rules also stress that referees’ on-field decisions are still final. Only the subsequent consequences of a decision made by the referee may be reviewed in cases involving an obvious error, such as mistaken identity.

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