World football's governing body is threatening to take a more hard-line approach to racist abuse after FIFA president Sepp Blatter called for clubs to be punished with points deductions and relegation if they are found guilty.
Since AC Milan forward Kevin-Prince Boateng walked off the pitch in a friendly match earlier this month, both FIFA and Europe's governing body have faced criticism over their perceived leniency towards players being racially abused.
"It is not enough to give a fine," Blatter told FIFA.com. "Playing a game without spectators is one of the possible sanctions, but the best would be the deduction of points and the relegation of a team, because finally the club is responsible for their spectators."
Blatter's stance is something of a volte-face given two years ago he said racism did not exist in football and that any problems could be solved with a handshake.
But the 76-year-old, who has spent the past 15 years in charge of FIFA, has changed his view following a number of recent unsavory incidents.
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"It is a phenomena where football is a victim of our society," added Blatter.
"Discrimination and racism is everywhere in our society. We in football cannot be made responsible for what happens in our society.
"But nowhere in the world -- regarding all the problems you can have in your private life, in business, in politics -- can you solve a problem by running away.
"I agree with and support the movement of Boateng -- as I have said -- as it was a strong warning. It is now up to us to take the adequate steps.
"What I feel we should do is give instructions to our national associations and the confederations -- specifically to the disciplinary committees -- to be very strong."
The ugly face of racism has reared its head far too often over the past 18 months with several high-profile incidents catching the headlines.
In December 2011, Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was hit with an eight-match suspension and $63,000 fine after being found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra.
Last September, Chelsea captain John Terry was given a four-game ban and fined $347,000 for racially abusing Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand.
Then in October 2012, England's Under-21 players were subjected to racist chanting during the European Championship qualifier in Krusevac.
The punishment of a $105,000 fine and the order to play one under-21 match behind closed doors handed out by UEFA's disciplinary commission was then appealed by the organization as it was seen to be too lenient.
However in an interview with French radio station RTL, UEFA president Michel Platini insisted the European governing body was in great shape to tackle racism.
"We have put rules in place with the referees in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League," said the Frenchman.
Earlier this month FIFA imposed a one-match spectator ban on Bulgaria for racist abuse by their fans of a Denmark player. It was the first time the body had imposed anything more than a fine for racism
Prince-Boateng walked off the field of play after being subjected to racist chanting by supporters during a friendly game at fourth-tier club Pro Patria.
Speaking to CNN in an exclusive interview following the incident, the Milan midfielder insisted he would walk off the field again if he was subjected to more racist chanting.
""If it happens again I'm not going to play anymore," he said.
"The referee said: 'Don't worry' but I said I do worry, it's not very nice.
"I was angry and I was sad, but it all came together and I said I don't want to play anymore. There were so many negative emotions that came up with me.
"I'm surprised we're still hearing these things in 2013. It's not the first time in my life that I've heard these things, but I'm 25 now and I've had enough this bulls***."