Brazil federation becomes first to be able to punish racism with points deductions

The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) has the right to sanction teams whose employees or fans commit acts of racism with the loss of points, according to the league's statute approved by the 20 first division clubs.

In the CBF's fight against racism and discrimination in the country's stadiums, the ground-breaking measure will come into force for the Copa do Brasil, which kicks off on Feb. 22.

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"The fight against racism is in a hurry. Measures have been discussed for centuries and have never been put into practice... We decided to go further with punishments and we can even take away points from a club in one of our competitions," CBF president Ednaldo Rodrigues said.

"It is considered extremely serious the discriminatory offense practiced by managers, representatives and professionals of clubs, athletes, coaches, members of the Technical Committee, fans and arbitration teams in competitions coordinated by the CBF."

As the first Black man to lead the CBF in more than 100 years of the organisation's history, Rodrigues considers the fight against discrimination in football to be one of his priorities.

The CBF is the first ruling body in the world to adopt such a measure.

Brazilian President Lula da Silva has sanctioned a law which equates the crime of racial insult to racism and provides for increased penalties for offences committed at sporting and cultural events in the country.