Football"s authorities told to do more to tackle racism in English game

MPs tell Football's authorities they need to do more to tackle racism in English game

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UPDATED:

00:28 GMT, 19 September 2012

FA chairman David Bernstein is facing demands for greater transparency in the game after MPs hit out at the disparity in the number of black and ethnic groups represented in football.

In a wide-ranging report into racism published by the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport published on Wednesday morning, MPs demanded a transparent recruitment process across all levels of the game.

No love lost: Anton Ferdinand avoided shaking hands with John Terry after accusations of racism in the game last season

No love lost: Anton Ferdinand avoided shaking hands with John Terry after accusations of racism in the game last season

The report has been published just
days before Chelsea skipper John Terry faces an independent panel after
he was charged by the FA of using racially abusive language towards
Anton Ferdinand last October.

He was found not guilty by
Westminster Magistrates Court, but faces another fight to clear his name
next week after being charged by FA chiefs.

The committee also claimed that
football has provided a platform for extremist and racist groups to air
their views to a wider public audience.

Among the conclusions in the 27 page report, the committee believes homophobia is now a bigger threat to the game than racism.

Not enough: Norwich boss Chris Hughton is one of very few black manager in the English game

Not enough: Norwich boss Chris Hughton is one of very few black manager in the English game

The FA were also criticised for being
'over bureaucratic, slow and lacking in the ability to think and act
radically' by the anti-semitism committee at the House of Commons.

They also added that it 'was also
concerned that the FA acted as “police, judge and executioner” in
dealing with discrimination.'

The CMS report, chaired by John
Whittingdale, called Paul Elliott, PFA chairman Gordon Taylor, chairman
of the Kick it Out campaign Lord Ouseley and Bernstein to give evidence.

According to the report's
recommendations to Bernstein: 'We believe that all appointments should
be based on merit alone irrespective of the candidates' race.

Flashpoint: Patrice Evra accused Liverpool's Luis Suarez of racist abuse last season

Flashpoint: Patrice Evra accused Liverpool's Luis Suarez of racist abuse last season

'We believe that the best and most
equitable way to introduce greater diversity among football managers and
on boards is to encourage transparency and consistency of recruitment
processes across all clubs and football authorities.

'The FA Board should work with County
FAs and clubs to develop best practice for transparent recruitment
processes and ensure their consistent application.'

Chris Hughton is the only black
Barclays Premier League manager and the Football League representation
includes Chris Powell (Charlton) and Keith Curle (Notts County).

The CMS report also instructed the FA
to carry out a high-profile campaign to highlight the damaging effect of
homophobic language and behaviour.

The FA responded to the report by releasing a statement in which it backed the stance of the MPs.

The statement, posted on the FA website, read: 'We welcome the report from the CMS Select Committee into Racism in Football.

'We agree with the Committee that whilst substantial progress has been made to promote equality and tackle discrimination in the game, challenges remain for all of the football authorities.

'We remain committed, along with all of our stakeholders, to promoting equality and diversity within the game and to the eradication of all forms of discrimination in football.

'We will continue to work across the entire breadth of the sport to deliver our inclusion and anti-discrimination agenda. In doing so, we will consider in detail how the Committee's recommendations can support and influence this work.'

WHAT THE REPORT SAYS

The report says the Football
Association must take the lead and set a strong example for others to
follow. The report recommends:

The
FA should make it a priority for stewards and club staff to be trained
to deal with abuse at club grounds, and to use social media to condemn
discrimination.Prosecutions
in cases of racial abuse at league and club level are 'extremely
welcome' but similar efforts should be applied to the grassroots game.More candidates from ethnic minorities should be trained as coaches and referees.Recruitment of managers and directors should be transparent and consistent to encourage greater ethnic diversity.