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Sad Day for Fiji, Drudru

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Sad Day for Fiji, Drudru Lautoka's Samuela Drudru, right, attacks against Marist FC in their OFC clash. Photo: OFC

Fiji Football Association (FFA) president Rajesh Patel reiterated a warning to local players that the association has no tolerance for racism after Lautoka player Samuela Drudru was fined NZ$7500 (FJ$10,869.94).

The Oceania Football Confederation (OFC), which slapped Drudru with the fine for his racial comments, also suspended

him for seven matches at all levels. He is also banned from entering the confines of the stadiums for those seven matches

Patel said it is a sad day for Fijian football to be reminded about us­ing racial comments. He said this needs to be stopped, especially when playing international tourna­ments such as in the OFC Champi­ons League.

Drudru admitted last week that he mentioned ‘white people’ to offi­cials on April 22 at Churchill Park, Lautoka.

The FFA intends to closely moni­tor things to ensure this kind of in­cident is not repeated in the future.

Patel said there has been racist re­marks used and even attacks on the officials in domestic competition.

“At the end of the day it is sad, but the players have to understand, whether it is in the heat of the mo­ment or not, they have to be disci­plined and be good sportsmen,” he said.

“The players have to know and un­derstand as well, not to give racial comments. According to OFC on Friday, the Lautoka Football Club and Drudru were notified of the sanctions imposed by the OFC Dis­ciplinary Committee.

On the April 22 following the OFC Champions League first leg semifi­nal between Lautoka FC and Marist FC in Lautoka, the referee reported the incident which took place after the player received a red card for a second caution, in which he dis­played discriminatory behaviour directed at a match official.

Following the opening of discipli­nary proceedings, the OFC Discipli­nary Committee analysed all docu­mentation at its disposal.

As a result, the OFC Disciplinary Committee found the player Samu­ela Drudru in breach of Article 56 (1) of the OFC Disciplinary Code.

Article 56 Racism

  1. 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 subject to match suspen­sion for at least five (5) matches at every level. The body will impose a ban on his entering the confines of any stadia and a fine of at least NZ$5,000 (FJ$7246.63). If the perpe­trator is an official, the fine will be at least NZ$10,000 (FJ$14,493.26).

In accordance with Article 127 of the OFC Disciplinary Code, an ap­peal could be lodged to the OFC Ap­peals Committee against this deci­sion. on June 9-10.

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