Manchester city and England star Raheem Sterling has called for an automatic nine-points deduction on games played for clubs whose fans racially abuse players and other supporters.
Sterling who recently suffered racial abuse during their international match with Montenegro in March is a prominent figure in the fight against the rise of racists abuse at games in England and across the globe.
He wrote ;”It sounds harsh, but which fan will risk racist behaviour if it might relegate their team or ruin their title bid”
“Small fines do no damage to clubs and countries, but one group of people who do have the money to make them take notice are sponsors. The next time that a club or governing body fails to act appropriately against racism, I would love to see that company pull its money out and make a moral stand.
“I don’t know how long it will take for things to change but we have to start now. I don’t want the next generation of black players to have to put up with this evil.”
Sterling says football’s racism problem as “deep” and “nowhere near being sorted”, and believes the organisations that run the game are not doing nearly enough to try to fix it.
“When I was a boy growing up in London, going to school and playing football, I didn’t know what racist abuse was because I never suffered any,” he wrote.
“So it seems crazy that, in 2019, I feel the need to write a piece in a newspaper calling for radical changes to the game that I love. But I do because the racism problem in football is so bad, runs so deep and is nowhere near being sorted”.
24 years old was hailed as a “trailblazer” in combating racism in football after dealing with racists abuse at both club and international level this season.