PL footballers could receive minimum of five-game ban for 'racially motivated offences'
Football players could face a minimum ban of five matches for racism offences under proposals to tackle discrimination being considered by the football authorities.
A fixed tariff for discrimination is one of a number of changes under discussion as the game seeks a logical response to recent scandals, including the charges of racial abuse levelled at Luis Suarez and John Terry.
Both players were found guilty of racially abusing opponents by Football Association disciplinary panels but received widely differing punishments, with Suarez banned for eight games and Terry for just four.
The five-match minimum was discussed at a Football Association (FA) summit on wider discrimination issues this week, though it has not yet been formalized, according to reports.
The rash of discrimination cases prompted Prime Minister David Cameron to demand action, and the FA has prepared an "Inclusion and Anti-Discrimination Action Plan" in response.
The professional leagues, the amateur game, the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) and the League Managers Association, are now considering it.
The PFA has already been in discussions with companies that could provide cultural integration for players, which they consider crucial given the potential impact of the new rules.
The Premier League clubs will consider the action plan at a shareholders meeting next week.
FA independent director Heather Rabbatts, a key figure in developing the action plan, said it was crucial the game restored its credibility.
"Given the incidents we have seen in the last year, including the regrettable events at the Etihad at the weekend, it is hugely important that the whole game rises to the challenge," the Telegraph quoted Rabbatts, as saying.
"We have a wide-ranging action plan that is out for consultation at the moment and we look forward to a rapid conclusion to that process, because it is in the interests of all of us that we make a difference," she added.