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Saturday 10 August 2019

Racism in football

Deafening silence

As a new season begins, when will football finally tackle discrimination?

By Ravin Sampat, Lindsay Riley and Sam Hockley

The football season started last weekend – with the English Football League (EFL) – and instead of the hype you associate with new signings and new kits – we’ve already had four alleged incidents of racist abuse.

Last season, racism in football was tarnishing the game. A number of high profile incidents including some of the game’s biggest stars, like England star Raheem Sterling, prompted apologies, a few bans and fines. But how seriously are the footballing powerbrokers taking the issue on? Do they care enough or are commercial interests more important?

The football charity Kick It Out – which has reporting on discrimination in the game since 1993 – say racism in English football rose by 43 per cent last season. There has been a rise for the last seven seasons. That’s worrying. For a sport that prides itself on the diversity of fans and players, the question remains why does it keep happening and what’s being done about it?

Kick It Out has been at the heart of the drive towards equality for everyone who plays, watches or works in football for the past 25 years. To report discrimination to them, you can use their app, via email on report@kickitout.org, or their online reporting form at KickItOut.org. You can also use the freephone 0800 169 9414.