THE chief executive of a Cumbria anti-racism action and education group has called on football’s governing body to do more when it comes to tackling racism.

Janett Walker was speaking after England players were racially abused during the team’s 4-0 victory in Hungary in a World Cup qualifying match on Thursday evening.

Fifa pledged to take ‘adequate action’ in the wake of the incident.

“They knew what the situation was and they should have been prepared in advance and not allowed that to happen,” said Ms Walker, chief executive officer at Anti Racist Cumbria.

“Their response has been really weak.

“If football organisations really meant anything in terms of dealing with the overt racism that’s still so prevalent in football, they have to hit where it hurts.”

She suggested docking clubs points as a punishment for abuse from their fans might be a way to hammer home the message. There could, she says, be a way of making anonymous reports from the stands so people feel comfortable reporting abusive behaviour.

“It isn’t just about holding the matches behind closed doors,” she said.

“It’s saying ‘you’re going to lose the competition if you carry on like this’.”

Ms Walker was asked if such measures might lead to opposition fans donning the colours of rival teams and engaging in abusive behaviour to bring about points deductions.

She accepted that this could be a stumbling block but felt this was an issue that could be overcome by, for example, properly investigating the people guilty of abuse.

“It’s very easy to say why we can’t do this,” she said.

“But how can we make it work?”

Ms Walker, 52, said she met with Nigel Clibbens, chief executive of Carlisle United, on Friday, and that the club and Anti Racist Cumbria would be collaborating on projects to help tackle discrimination.

Mr Clibbens issued a statement last month after some Carlisle fans jeered when players ‘took the knee’ in opposition to racism prior to kick-off in the first game of the season against Colchester.

“Our players have made their personal choice to perform this simple act of protest against discrimination and racist behaviour,” Mr Clibbens said at the time.

He asked that the players be ‘respected and supported’.