Houghton's alleged racial slur may kick up a 'storm'

Source : IANS
Last Updated: Sat, Oct 23, 2010 14:37 hrs

New Delhi: National football coach Bob Houghton's alleged racial abuse of an Indian referee is likely to kick up a 'storm' at the Annual General Meeting (AGM)of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) next month.

Houghton reportedly hurled racial abuses at the fourth referee during India's friendly with Yemen in Pune Oct 13. The referee is said to have lodged a written complaint to the match commissioner who in turn has forwarded it to AIFF.

'The issue will create a storm at the AGM, but before that the executive committee will deal with the matter,' an AIFF source said.

However, with the Asian Cup in Doha in January, the Englishman is likely to be let off with a mild rap on his knuckles.

'Houghton is lucky, in view of the upcoming Asian Cup, he will get away with a mere warning. The British coach's future will, however, hinge on the team's performance in the tournament,' the source said.

Generally, any racial remark by officials, players, referees and spectators can invite severe punishment under the disciplinary code.

AFC's Article 56 of its disciplinary code is clear.

'Anyone who publicly disparages, discriminates against or denigrates someone in a defamatory manner on account of race, colour, language, religion or ethnic origin will be subjected to match suspension for at least five matches at every level. The body will also impose a ban on his/her entering the confines of any stadium and a fine of at least $5,000. If the perpetrator is an official, the fine will be at least $10,000.'

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