Football: Fifa approves stricter sanctions for racism - including club relegation

PORT LOUIS, MAURITIUS (AP) - Fifa's member countries have approved stricter punishments for racism in football, including the possible relegation of a club for serious offences.

Fifa passed the two-stage anti-racism resolution with a 99 per cent-majority at its congress in Mauritius on Friday, and president Sepp Blatter said "we are doing something now".

The new regulations say a first or minor offense should be punished by a warning, fine or with a match having to be played behind closed doors. Serious or repeat offenses can now be punished by a deduction of points, expulsion from a tournament or even relegation of the offending club.

Fifa also passed measures dictating that players or officials found guilty of racist abuse in any game should be banned for five matches. The sanction had previously only applied to Fifa internationals.