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FIFA backs English players' social media boycott over racism

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20th-Apr-2019       
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AP, England :
FIFA is backing a 24-hour social media boycott by professional players in England in a protest against racial abuse and revealed plans for a new global campaign to eradicate discrimination in soccer.
Following a series of high-profile cases in recent weeks, the Professional Footballers' Association has gathered support from Premier League stars to stay off Twitter, Facebook and Instagram from 9 a.m. Friday (0800 GMT) until 9 a.m. Saturday as they push for a crackdown on racist messages.
"Collectively, we are simply not willing to stand by while too little is done by football authorities and social media companies to protect players from this disgusting abuse," England and Tottenham defender Danny Rose said on Thursday.
FIFA said that it was listening to the concerns of players and supporting their decision to put pressure on social media companies to take stronger action against racism by not posting for a day.
"We applaud the initiative of the English professional football players," FIFA said in a statement to The Associated Press. "FIFA is fully engaged in combating racism and any form of discrimination not only in football but society in general."
FIFA is preparing to write to all 211 member associations and the six confederations encouraging them to adopt a three-step procedure which allows a referee to stop play, suspend a game and ultimately abandon the fixture if discriminatory abuse persists.
FIFA was criticized in 2016 for dismantling its anti-racism task force after saying its mission had been completed.
Now the Zurich-based governing body says it is "preparing a concrete action with worldwide impact that will launch a powerful campaign against discrimination."
After being targeted with monkey noises while playing for England in Montenegro in a European Championship qualifier last month, Rose said he couldn't wait for his career to end to escape racism in football.
"Football has a problem with racism," Rose said. "I don't want any future players to go through what I've been through in my career."

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