01/13/2014 05:10 EST | Updated 03/15/2014 05:59 EDT

CONCACAF tells referees to stop matches if there is racist abuse

MIAMI - Soccer referees in North and Central America and the Caribbean have been instructed to stop matches in the event of racist chants or insults.

The regional governing body CONCACAF said Monday that its executive committee had adopted a protocol to deal with racist incidents.

Referees should stop games and order a public-address announcement calling for racist behaviour to cease, including the display of racist banners. If racist behaviour continues, the referee should suspend matches for 5-10 minutes, send players to their locker-rooms and order a second announcement. As a third step — "a very last resort" — referees may decide to abandon the match.

CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb, who also is a FIFA vice-president, says "the procedure outlines a clear and precise approach of zero tolerance for racist or discriminatory incidents that may arise during matches."