BERNARDO has called for offenders to be jailed to combat rising racism in football.

Albion's Brazilian defender says punishments must be tougher and he would be prepared to walk off if it happened during a game.

Players from Derby, Wigan and Northampton were the victims of racism last weekend.

Tottenham full-back Danny Rose said last week he could not wait to retire after being racially abused in England's 5-1 win in Montenegro last month.

Bernardo told The Argus: "I'm speechless. It's always the same thing and it doesn't seem like things are going to change.

"I don't see punishments – it's something that shouldn't be accepted any more.

"I don't know how it works in England but in Brazil racism is a crime, you go to jail if something like this happens. I think here it should be the same.

"If one incident happens and then a second and third and people start to notice that nothing happens then they will still keep on doing it.

"Unfortunately, you cannot change people's mind about things. If someone is racist you can't change that.

"I feel pity for these people but what will stop them doing stuff like this is being punished. It has been too soft.

"It should be punished with jail, things should be more strict.

"In theory in Brazil they are. If something happens in the street, you are racist towards me and I go to the police, nothing happens.

"But if it happens, for example, on a football pitch with cameras and the media are covering it, it's jail.

"It happened once. I was in the stadium when Sao Paulo were playing an Argentinian team.

"The cameras saw an Argentinian player offending a Brazilian player. At half-time they already had the images. The second half didn't start, they went and arrested him on the pitch and took him to jail.

"He spent one day in jail and the next day was flying back to Argentina but it is so powerful, so impacting, a football player being arrested on a pitch for being a racist, that this can kind of change things. I think here it should work a bit more that way. I see it as a crime."

Bernardo, signed from German club Red Bull Leipzig last summer, is in favour of walk-offs to highlight the gravity of incidents.

He said: "I think teams should walk off, I feel like that. Obviously that is my decision as an individual, it's not something that can be decided by one person.

"If something like this happened here and my team-mates decided we would stay, I would stay, but if you ask me my opinion I would just leave the pitch because it just doesn't make sense to be in this sort of environment.

"There are things that are more important than a football match. The impact you give when you leave the pitch is that you simply don't accept that. I see it this way, you are passing a message that can be more valuable than playing a few more minutes."