FIFA has tightened sanctions on discriminatory behaviour in a new code. Photo: Remo Casilli/Reuters

BERLIN  Football governing body FIFA is toughening its sanctions for racist or discriminatory behaviour.

Penalties coming into force from July 15 provide for a partial spectator ban for clubs and a fine of at least 20,000 Swiss francs (dollars) as a first sanction in the event of discriminatory fan behaviour.

Repeat offences can be penalized with point deductions or exclusion from competitions.

A ban of at least 10 matches applies to "any person who offends the dignity or integrity of a country, a person or group of people through contemptuous, discriminatory or derogatory words or actions (by any means whatsoever) on account of race, skin colour, ethnic, national or social origin, gender, disability, sexual orientation, language, religion, political opinion, wealth, birth or any other status or any other reason...", the code says.

Referees have a three-stage plan in the event of a racist incident leading if necessary to a game being abandoned and the match lost for the club deemed to be the offender.

The disciplinary code applies to all FIFA competitions and friendlies involving clubs or national teams.

dpa