Pascal Chimbonda calls for relegation and season-long punishments for racism

Callum Hudson-Odoi, Danny Rose and Raheem Sterling have all faced racist abuse in recent weeks

Clubs should be relegated or forced to play matches without fans for a season if their supporters racially abuse players, says former Premier League defender Pascal Chimbonda.

Recent weeks have seen Manchester City's Raheem Sterling, Tottenham's Danny Rose and Chelsea's Callum Hudson-Odoi be subjected to racial abuse.

Chimbonda, 40, says racism in France led to his move to England in 2005.

"No one does anything against it," he said. "I wanted to run off the pitch."

Speaking to World Football on BBC World Service, former Wigan and Spurs player Chimbonda added: "This has been happening for so many years and you see nothing ever happens.

"They [governing bodies] have an advert, they fight against racists but it never stops. So they have to do big things now and show they really want to stop it.

"If fans don't behave, big teams, small teams - they have to be relegated or play a full season with no fans.

"You play a full season with no fans and they will start to think about it. Fans will think about how they have to behave when they come to a stadium."

In the wake of high-profile examples of racism Rose has stated he "can't wait to see the back of football" and has criticised lenient punishment of the abuse.

Italy manager Roberto Mancini has called for "tough" action after Juventus' Moise Kean was abused, while several Premier League managers have said they will back their players leaving the pitch if one is targeted.

Punishments for racist abuse in football vary depending on the governing body under whose jurisdiction the game falls, with Uefa using a three-step process which allows referees to stop, suspend or abandon a match.

European football's governing body can also issue a partial stadium closure as punishment, with a second offence resulting in a fine and one match being played behind closed doors.

World football governing body Fifa's rules state "serious offences" can lead to "the forfeit of a match, a points deduction or disqualification from the competition".

Chairman Greg Clarke has said England's Football Association intends to strengthen its punishments for racism.

Chimbonda, who joined Wigan from French club Bastia, added: "I had monkey chants from the stands.

"I've had young kids spit on me. I've had people throw stones at my car. That is why I came to England as I wanted to put it behind me and move on.

"The players should walk off the pitch. If all the team do it it is me a major change for racism.

"It's difficult for a player to do as you have to be strong mentally.

"No one does anything against it - Fifa, Uefa, they don't do anything. So for me, you have to leave the pitch."

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