Fifa has announced that AC Milan's Kevin-Prince Boateng is to become the first member of its anti-discrimination taskforce.
The 27-year-old Ghanaian international
walked off the pitch
in a friendly against Italian team Pro Patria after he was racially abused by their fans.
"It was like an earthquake when he walked, but it can't be the solution," Fifa president Sepp Blatter said.
"The solution is that the whole family of football be united."
The taskforce was
announced last month
and will be led by Fifa vice-president Jeffrey Webb, from the Caymen Islands.
Full details of its composition and role have not yet been announced but it is expected to unveil a new sanctions regime and education programme to Fifa's annual congress, which will be held in Mauritius in May.
"Sepp Blatter's office in-tray is overflowing at present.
In addition to a long-running reform process, the ongoing ISL corruption affair and uncertainty over the timing and feasibility of the Qatar 2022 World Cup, the Fifa president is also trying to quell a resurgence of racism within the game.
Friday's announcement that Kevin-Prince Boateng will be part of the taskforce will be widely welcomed. Boateng has first-hand experience of racial abuse and, as Blatter puts it, caused 'an earthquake' in the game when he walked off the pitch in January while playing for AC Milan. His eloquent speech at the UN this week demonstrated his determination and commitment to fight back against the racists.
But, as Blatter acknowledges, the group needs credibility, and many observers feel that will only come if leading experts in the fields of racism, homophobia and ethnic under-representation are appointed.
With a widespread acknowledgement that financial penalties have failed, there is a promise now that the taskforce's toughened proposals will be aired at Fifa's congress later this year.
The annual event, this year in Mauritius, will either be another missed opportunity or the start of the fightback against an issue that the men who govern the global game ignored for too long."
One proposal is a "three strikes" rule for offenders, which would see penalties including exclusion from competitions, points deductions and relegation replacing financial sanctions, which many within the game believe have failed.
Serbia were fined £65,000 after their players and staff were involved in scuffles with their England counterparts in a Euro 2013 Under-21 play-off last October.
That followed previous fines in 2003, 2007 and 2010 for offences by Serbian supporters.
"We spoke about that in the strategic committee of Fifa," Blatter added. "They said it would not be so nice to punish players but somewhere we have to do something more than [financial] sanctions. We have to deduct points or you have to do something.
"It's not enough to speak. We have to do something and we will present them together with this taskforce in two months in Mauritius, the measures that we have to take."
On Thursday, Boateng, who had spells at Tottenham and Portsmouth, said players found guilty of racism should not be allowed to play for their clubs again.
"If there's a fan who has done something wrong and he can never come to the stadium again, that is something that can hurt you because you're a fan and you love the sport," he said.
"Or a football player who does something wrong, who is racist, and can never play for the club again or can never play in the country again - these are the things that hurt and I think this is the right way to go."
After his appointment to the taskforce on Friday, he said he was pleased his decision to walk off the pitch against Pro Patria had been vindicated: "I said yes, I want to be part of the taskforce. I like to help and I'm very positive in fighting against racism and thankful for the invite and to see that people support me and support what I did.
"I'm looking positively to the future and hopefully we're going to get rid of this illness of racism."