Former France international Christian Karembeu is unhappy with the “lack of action” from football clubs in Europe to “tackle and put an end” to racism in the sport.
The 49-year-old, who won the 1998 World Cup with Les Bleus, believes FIFA and UEFA can help stamp out the scourge from stadiums by imposing strict anti-racism policies on clubs.
“It calls for severe punishment, and not just suspending a player and fining his club. It’s not enough. Clubs need to be told to educate their fans and players about racism and if the clubs refuse to take action in the face of further provocations they should be demoted to division two or three,” Karembeu told the BBC.
“When such punishments are melted out several times, and when the clubs would understand they could lose money, players and even the club itself, they would take this matter seriously unlike the lack of action we see today.
“If you look around in Europe it is very clear the issue is not treated with adequate attention and seriousness. We need to take strong action if not it’s going to be around for long. People who have never been victims see it as a joke when you raise the issue.
“FIFA and UEFA need to take the fight to another level to help tackle and put an end to it. They need to hold clubs responsible,” he said.
The former defensive midfielder, who is black and born in the French territory of New Caledonia in the Pacific Islands, played for Real Madrid, Middlesbrough, and Nantes among others. He now serves as a strategic advisor at Greek side Olympiacos, where he spent three seasons as a player.