Manchester City's Raheem Sterling: Harsher punishment needed for racism

Speaking in New York, Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling said Tuesday (May 21) the only way racism will be overcome in sports is if serious penalties are handed out to the associated clubs.

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - Speaking in New York, Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling said Tuesday (May 21) the only way racism will be overcome in sports is if serious penalties are handed out to the associated clubs.

Sterling made the comments during the Wall Street Journal's Future of Everything Festival in New York.

Sterling was just voted 'Footballer of the Year' in the annual vote of members of the Football Writers' Association.

City forward Sterling has been a key member of the City team which is two wins away from defending their Premier League title and has also been a prominent voice in the campaigns against racism in the game.

Clubs should be slapped with automatic nine-point deductions and ordered to play three games behind closed doors if their supporters indulge in racist behaviour, Sterling emphasised during the summit.

Soccer authorities must adopt radical changes to tackle the menace, Sterling has said. He's signed a manifesto that calls for consistent and suitable punishment for racist and discriminatory behaviour.

Sterling was awarded The Integrity and Impact Award at this year's BT Sport Industry Awards for speaking out on a range of social issues, including racism.

He was recognised for his fight against racism in the sport and for using his platform to call for more action to be taken. He had said this month that more players needed to speak out when they suffered racism to eradicate it from the game.