The Football Association has issued a response to the results of a Club Website poll on racism in grassroots football. 29% of Club Website members polled said they had witnessed some form of racism at their grassroots football matches in the last 12 months. The full FA statement reads:
The FA are very interested in the results of the Club Website poll and we always encourage anyone who witnesses racism or other forms of discrimination to report it.
We always treat any reports of discrimination seriously and the County Associations, in the first instance, deal with all complaints and reports of misconduct below Step 4 of the National League System.
If the complainant is not satisfied with the response from the County FA they can escalate the matter to The FA and if they are then unhappy with an FA response they can take the case to the Independent Football Ombudsman.
In terms of misconduct, if The FA is unhappy with the outcome of a case and they consider that the County FA has either acted outside the rules or imposed a sanction that is “disproportionately lenient” then The FA can appeal that decision. This process has been in place over the last 12 months.
There are a number of ways an allegation of racial abuse and/or discrimination can be reported to football’s authorities.
Incidents can be reported to The FA via the telephone number 0800 085 0508 or via email [email protected]
These contact details above are strictly reserved for those wishing to report allegations of abuse and/or discrimination.
Kick it Out, which The FA works very closely with as we are a funding partner, also has a line to report discrimination in any footballing environment, which is 0800 169 9414 or individuals can fill in an online incident report form.
Statments from the Scottish and Welsh FAs
The Scottish Youth Football Association (SYFA) have had six incidents of racism reported to them so far this season.
SYFA Chief Executive David Little said: “I’m extremely disappointed if clubs have alleged to witness this type of behaviour and haven’t reported it.
“We have a zero tolerance on this type of behaviour. If an incident is reported to a league, the league must automatically report it to ourselves. We then investigate it and deal with it accordingly.
“People must report these incidents in order that we can eradicate them from the game.”
The Football Association of Wales has investigated only four cases of alleged racist abuse since 2007.
A FAW spokesperson said: “As an association we have a zero tolerance policy towards any form of racism.
We actively support and do help fund the Show Racism the Red Card charity and recently played a match against them at Spytty Park in Newport to raise money and awareness.”