Tag Archives: racial

Inter Milan fined 38,000 by UEFA after fans racially abuse Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor

Inter fined 38,000 after racial abuse of Spurs' Adebayor during Europa League tie

PUBLISHED:

16:17 GMT, 26 April 2013

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UPDATED:

16:18 GMT, 26 April 2013

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Inter Milan have been fined 45,000 euros (around 37,900) for 'the improper conduct of their fans' during the Europa League tie against Tottenham on March 14 in which striker Emmanuel Adebayor was racially abused.

Adebayor, who scored in the second leg tie in the San Siro as Tottenham progressed on away goals, and his team-mates were the victims of abuse by Inter fans waving an inflatable banana.

Manager Andre Villas-Boas implored UEFA to act after the match, which Spurs lost 4-1, pointing out Inter's black record for such incidents.

Abuse: Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor was the victim of racist chants during the Europa League match with Inter Milan, a game in which he scored the decisive goal (below)

Abuse: Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor was the victim of racist chants during the Europa League match with Inter Milan, a game in which he scored the decisive goal (below)

Emmanuel Adebayor scores for Tottenham against Inter Milan

Inter were fined only 43,000 by Serie A officials after former Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli was racially abused during February's Milan derby and Villas-Boas pleaded with UEFA to hand out a more severe punishment this time.

Earlier in the season Lazio were also fined for racist chanting in their Group J tie at White Hart Lane in September and were reprimanded again for racist behaviour in November's return game.

More to follow..

Millwall to investigate allegations of racism after TV cameras pick up abusive fans

Millwall to investigate allegations of racism after TV cameras pick up abusive fans

Olympics, has faced racial abuse on social media websites.

He said: 'We're a developed, multi-cultural society. It's surprising it can still go on – but it doesn't exactly shock me.

'We can't be silent about it. We need to make people aware that there is a problem going on and only when people are aware of the problem can it be sorted out.

'As long as people are brave enough I'd say to come out and say exactly what's happened to them then I think we'll be going in the right direction because the first thing that needs to happen is that we can't be silent about it.'

The 21-year-old admitted abuse can inspire him, adding: 'Sometimes it gives me that bit more fire to prove people wrong and that I can rise above it.'

Macclesfield allege Ryan Jackson was racially abused by Barrow player

Macclesfield allege defender Jackson was racially abused by Barrow player

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UPDATED:

20:24 GMT, 30 December 2012

Police are to launch an investigation into allegations of racial abuse at the FA Cup second-round replay between Macclesfield and Barrow.

Officers were also called in to stop a post-match punch-up between both sets of players in the tunnel following an afternoon of bitter insult-swapping.

Macclesfield of the Blue Square Bet Premier claim that defender Ryan Jackson was racially abused by an opponent during Saturday’s 4-1 win.

Striker Amari Morgan-Smith tweeted: ‘So, according to the Barrow players it’s alright to call one of the lads a Jaffa cake on the pitch!! #headsgone’.

Stormy: Mathew Barnes-Homer celebrates his goal against Barrow

Stormy: Mathew Barnes-Homer celebrates his goal against Barrow

The Cheshire club confirmed that they had reported their rivals to the referee Phil Gibbs and to the police and want action taken.

Chief executive John Harris said, via the Macclesfield website: ‘The club are aware that the matter has been reported to both the police and the FA and will offer both its fullest support in dealing with the matter.

‘We are very disappointed that this has overshadowed an excellent performance on the pitch, but we remain staunchly opposed to all forms of racism, which we believe has no place in football, or indeed anywhere.’

Feelings have been running high between the two clubs since the original tie on December 19 when Macclesfield manager Steve King alleged that skipper Nat Brown had been called a ‘monkey’ by some Barrow fans.

Claim: Ryan Jackson was allegedly racially abused by a Barrow player

Claim: Ryan Jackson was allegedly racially abused by a Barrow player

The FA are investigating that incident too with Barrow promising to take action if any of their fans were shown to be guilty. At the time chairman Brian Keen said: ‘This is a decent, family community club and there is no place for racism.

‘We will investigate and, if we can identify any culprits, they will be facing as stern a punishment as we can dish out.’

Supporters from Cumbria yesterday flooded their forums with accusations that an English Defence League banner was on display at Moss Rose on Saturday and say that Brown went over to that section of the ground to acknowledge home supporters.

They also complained that the public announcer was being deliberately provocative by hailing former Barrow trialist John Paul Kissock as the ‘non-League Messi’ after he scored.

Macclesfield earned themselves a third-round tie against Championship leaders Cardiff in a match which survived three pitch inspections.

Luis Suarez interview: Liverpool striker says people can call him racist, diver and cheat but he sleeps soundly every night

LUIS SUAREZ EXCLUSIVE: Racist Diver Cheat People can call me what they want but I still sleep soundly every night
The Liverpool star discusses what it is like to be one of football's most reviled figures in his first major interview
'What matters most to me is my family, the Liverpool fans and the team. Anything else that goes on is not my problem''Liverpool are the club I wanted to play for, and now that I’m here, I want to stay for a long time'

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UPDATED:

23:11 GMT, 22 December 2012

Luis Suarez never directly expresses his exasperation. He is polite, engaging and thoughtful. But he sits with arms folded for most of the interview, as though he fears that judgment has already been made and that nothing he can say will change the verdict.

The controversies are well recorded: his abuse of the Manchester United defender Patrice Evra, which the FA deemed a racial slur, a verdict Suarez still disputes; his reputation for too readily going to ground in the penalty area; his handball on the line that prevented Ghana from progressing to the 2010 World Cup semi-finals; and his general aggression on the pitch.

Suarez, 25, gives the impression that the insults which come his way as a result of his reputation are of no consequence and that the support of his family and his football club, Liverpool, are all he needs. Indeed, he is dismissive of the suggestion that, as a result of the Evra affair — for which Suarez served an eight-match ban — many would now regard him as racist, even though the FA Disciplinary Commission made it clear in their judgment that they did not.

At ease: Luis Suarez says he is unconcerned with the criticism he attracts

At ease: Luis Suarez says he is unconcerned with the criticism he attracts

‘I still sleep soundly every night,’ insists Suarez. ‘I’m not worried about everything people say. I don’t care what people outside Liverpool think.’

Suarez has always maintained that the Spanish word he admits using in his infamous clash with Evra, ‘negrito’, can, at times, be acceptable in his native Uruguay. Suarez now knows that it is not acceptable in England to refer to somebody’s race in this way, but he claims that he remains perplexed by the response to the incident.

‘I don’t understand, but that’s football,’ he says. ‘It’s in the past now. I fought hard to get where I am and now all I care about is playing football for Liverpool.’

He even remains outwardly unmoved by the fact that Chelsea’s former England captain, John Terry, received a four-match ban for racial abuse, half the punishment meted out to Suarez. ‘They’re different situations,’ he says. ‘Terry is Terry and Suarez is Suarez — they’re different issues, and I never cared about the Terry case.’

Yet, tellingly, when it comes to other aspects of the way he is perceived, Suarez does want to explain. On the diving, he wants people to know what it is like to have muscular 6ft 2in centre-halves bearing down on you as you run towards goal or attempt a cute turn.

Going to ground: Suarez falls after a challenge from Arsenal's Thomas Vermaelen

Going to ground: Suarez falls after a challenge from Arsenal's Thomas Vermaelen

‘Sometimes you’re standing there and someone comes flying in, so you move your leg out of the way or you go to ground because you’re scared of getting hit,’ he says. ‘If I leave my leg there so the referee can see it’s a foul, I risk suffering a big injury. That’s why sometimes your instinct tells you to go to ground. It’s a split-second instinct, not a conscious decision you make on the pitch. Of course, I don’t want people to go around saying “this guy just dives”.’

The swallow-dive celebration Suarez performed in front of David Moyes after his goal in the Merseyside derby in October was the Uruguayan’s response to pre-match accusations of diving from the Everton manager, a riposte made even more pleasing when Everton captain Phil Neville was booked for simulation in the same game.

‘Everton was a special case, because the Everton manager came out and spoke about me before the match, saying that people like me are going to turn supporters off going to matches,’ says Suarez.

‘And then, in the match, the Everton captain dived. So that’s why sometimes it’s better to keep your mouth shut. Moyes can talk about me if he knows me, or at least after the match, but before the match it’s not right.’

Courting controversy: Suarez celebrated his goal in the Merseyside derby with a dive in front of Everton boss David Moyes

Courting controversy: Suarez celebrated his goal in the Merseyside derby with a dive in front of Everton boss David Moyes

Suarez’s default position is a defensive one. ‘What matters most to me is my family, playing for Liverpool, the Liverpool fans and the team. Anything else that goes on is not my problem. I don’t read the papers or watch TV. Every time they boo me or chant something about me, it just gives me more confidence to keep playing. I’ve been booed in Holland and in Uruguay — as a professional footballer you need to have thick skin and just get used to it. But right now I’m at the club I wanted to play for, I’m really enjoying myself out on the pitch, because I fought for a long time to get here and I’m happy the club acknowledge what I’ve done, which is the only thing that matters to me.

‘If we’re playing away from home, I know I’m going to get booed. But I also know that if they boo me, it’s not only because of anything I’ve supposedly done, but also because they’re afraid, because they know I’m a player who is a threat to their team. And that’s why they try to unsettle me and keep me quiet in the game … almost. But I never let that happen.’

And he is a potent threat. The skill and the inventiveness were never in doubt but the finishing that seemed awry last year is now much improved, as 11 Premier League goals — including one in the 4-0 victory over Fulham — and three in cup competitions testifies. For some, he is the player of the season so far.

Intriguingly, though, he says he does want to change. Regarding diving, he says: ‘Yes, of course. I’m trying to change and to avoid doing it because I know that football is different here, and it’s helping me at the same time. I’ve discussed it with both managers I’ve played under here, Kenny Dalglish and Brendan Rodgers. Kenny also used to tell me not to protest so much, that I should focus more on playing football, that I have a lot of qualities and so should forget about referees. And Brendan has also told me a few things to help me improve.’

Lucky for some: Suarez hits his 13th goal of the campaign, adding the gloss to Liverpool's win against Fulham

Lucky for some: Suarez hits his 13th goal of the campaign, adding the gloss to Liverpool's win against Fulham

There is a familiar contradiction in sportsmen like Suarez, those who carry a reputation. The image they bear on the pitch is so far removed from their demeanour in everyday life that it is often difficult to reconcile the two. Suarez himself says so.

‘My wife always says that people must think I act crazy at home, too, but that’s not the case,’ he says.

‘Off the pitch I am nothing like the way I am on it. The passion I have for football, it’s very different, I’ve always expressed it like that, that’s the way I play, but I also understand that I need to change. Because it’s not nice to be constantly shouting and back-chatting, it’s not nice for the crowd and for children to see, and it’s not nice for me either. I understand that and I think I’ve made the effort to change a little over the last few months.’

There will not be an immediate transformation, he says, as he tries to strike the balance between retaining legitimate aggression and curbing what is unacceptable. ‘That’s why it’s really hard to change overnight, because of the passion you feel on the pitch. And I don’t like losing, I don’t like giving up a lost ball — say if the ball is going out and I know I can reach it, then I chase it down … that’s the passion you feel on the pitch.’

He draws a direct link between his upbringing and the way he plays now. ‘When you’re a kid, you play in the street, you need to have lots of ambition, drive and strength to play, and that’s what makes you act like that on the pitch.’

Flashpoint: Controversy has been no stranger to Suarez, with the Uruguayan getting an eight-match ban for this clash with Patrice Evra at Anfield last season

Flashpoint: Controversy has been no stranger to Suarez, with the Uruguayan getting an eight-match ban for this clash with Patrice Evra at Anfield last season

For his is that well-told story of the South American boy playing street football, first in Salto and later in Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay. His father left the family when he was nine years old and he was raised by his mother and grandmother, who provided financial help. He has two sisters and four brothers, one of whom, Paolo, plays for Isidro Metapan, the champions of El Salvador, while two others play professionally at a lower level.

In Suarez’s mind, he has had to battle constantly to be where he is now, playing football for Liverpool. ‘Some kids have things very easy here. They don’t go wanting for anything, their parents help them, and by 18 they already have their own cars. It’s not like that in Uruguay: you have to work really hard and for a lot of years. Even if your parents help you to have a car, you have to work and fight really hard, and show a lot of ambition and hunger to go far, which isn’t the case here.

‘In Holland (where he played for Groningen and Ajax) and it’s happened to me here, too, I would look at players who were moving up to the first team, and they already had expensive cars at the age of 18, which I found amazing. Back when I was in Uruguay, the club used to loan me a car, and it wasn’t until I moved to Holland when I was 20, and then when I moved to Ajax, that I could buy one myself.’

He was signed to Nacional, the Uruguayan champions, as a child but looked like missing the cut at 14.

‘I wasn’t on the path I wanted to be on. I was going out at night, I didn’t enjoy studying and I wasn’t dedicating myself to football. When I was a kid, there were some people around me who were a bad influence. When I met my girlfriend Sofia, who is now my wife, I think it all changed. She was very important for me, because she steered me back on to the path I wanted to be on.

Home team: Suarez is always calm and relaxed with wife Sofia and daughter Delfina

Home team: Suarez is always calm and relaxed with wife Sofia and daughter Delfina

‘When I was single, I would go out at night, but then when I had a girlfriend, I would always go to her house at the end of the night, so I had more peace of mind. So it’s about that, the everyday routine. She would also tell me to study and to focus on my ability to play football, and to forget about everything else.

‘I’m the one out on the pitch, but I think if she hadn’t helped me change my life, I probably wouldn’t have made it. Also, I wasn’t playing at Nacional, I was on the bench, some people told me to look for another club, but there were two people who told me to stay and helped me to get another chance. And then I met my wife and that’s when it all changed.’

At times he seems a throwback to the world of Diego Maradona, the street kid with the ball at his feet made good. In Uruguay they use the word ‘botija’ to describe a player like Suarez, the one with the skill, guile and what locals would call cheekiness.

‘Being crafty, a bit more streetwise than the rest,’ says Suarez, attempting an explanation. ‘That’s very common in Uruguay, just like in Argentina, I think because of the way you grow up as a kid.’

But does the phrase accurately describe Suarez ‘I think I am sometimes [that kind of player] but not always. I think maybe the example you’re trying to get at is my handball at the World Cup’

Indeed, it is. That was the day Suarez took a red card for the team and stopped Ghana scoring in the last minute of the quarter-final by blocking a goalbound shot with his hand on the line. The penalty was missed and Uruguay progressed to the semi-finals in the subsequent penalty shoot-out. ‘I think any player in the world would have done that,’ says Suarez. ‘It’s all part of being a little bit crafty, getting the upper hand.’

Public enemy No 1: Suarez attracted the ire of a continent after handballing Dominic Adiyiah's goalbound header off the line

Public enemy No 1: Suarez attracted the ire of a continent after handballing Dominic Adiyiah's goalbound header off the line

While his actions would not be
universally condemned in England — what wouldn’t we do to be in a World
Cup semi-final — it is pointed out that there would be a strong body of
opinion here that would consider such an unsporting act as plain wrong.

‘But if a player is running towards an open goal, you can haul him down
and injure him, and that’s acceptable’ argues Suarez. ‘I think that if
they were doing it for their country …’ he begins. Maybe, it is
suggested, a cultural difference. ‘Right,’ he says. ‘The culture is very
different.’

At Liverpool, the fear must be that he will soon outgrow them, now that they have ceased to become a regular Champions League club, but in August he signed a new five-year contract with the club.

‘All I can say is that my head is here now and for many years to come. My dream and desire is to play in the Champions League and achieve big things with Liverpool, because they’re the club I wanted to play for, and now that I’m here, I want to stay for a long time.’

He cites the club’s tradition and ‘amazing fans’ as the reason ‘we hope that over time, we can take Liverpool back to where they belong’.

He may need some patience for that. ‘Just like I waited to play in the Champions League with Ajax and I had that chance, now I hope the same thing happens with Liverpool,’ he says.

And his enthusiasm for the manager, the club, the city and its people seems genuine. His wife and two-year-old daughter, Delfina, are happy here. He even claims to understand Scouse accents: well, Steven Gerrard’s anyway. Jamie Carragher, he says, is still impenetrable. Some cultural chasms, it seems, are too wide to bridge.

Former Chelsea defender Paul Elliott ready to lead race fight

Former Chelsea defender Elliott ready to lead race fight

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UPDATED:

22:47 GMT, 20 December 2012

Paul Elliott, an FA ambassador and former Chelsea and Charlton
defender, is in line to head the team that will lead English football's
attempt to stamp out racism.

The formation of the inclusion advisory board that will deliver the
anti-discrimination action plan, revealed by Sportsmail, was the number
one commitment announced by the FA yesterday.

Top man: Highly-respected Paul Elliott

Top man: Highly-respected Paul Elliott

And the highly respected Elliott, one of the few to emerge with credit from England's doomed 2018 World Cup bid, is known to be the preferred choice of Kick it Out leader Lord Ouseley to head this crucial committee which will also work with the FA board on annual progress reports.

Lord Ouseley will be stepping down from the chair of the FA's racial equality advisory group, and the seat on the FA council that goes with the position, in protest at English football's ruling body's 'mealy-mouthed' response to the John Terry and Luis Suarez racism cases. Ouseley sees Elliott, who was on the final shortlist to be one of the independent directors on the FA board, as his obvious replacement on the FA council as head of the inclusion advisory board that will replace the racial equality group.

The FA's multi-point plan, announced yesterday, was revealed by Sportsmail a week ago. The 109 commitments to fight all forms of discrimination are the result of work by all the football bodies since Prime Minister David Cameron's anti-racism football summit last February.

They include cultural lessons for players and managers new to English football, at least 10 per cent of referees and level one coaches to come from ethnic minorities and clubs to face sanctions for failing to deal with racism by players, coaches or their fans.

There are no fixed penalties for racism offences by players mentioned in the proposals but FA chairman David Bernstein said that the issue was 'under active discussion'. A five-game ban has been mooted.

And both player and manager unions have given their support to the idea of mandatory clauses in contracts for players to face action for racist language or behaviour.

Bernstein, who will have this anti-racism action plan as his legacy before his term of office ends next July, said: 'This is a commitment to ensure the game is inclusive and free of discrimination. This continues to be a top priority.'

Bernstein added: 'No player should fear coming out as gay at the risk of suffering discrimination and we continue to strengthen our support programmes to ensure the game is open to all.'

Gay football players should have no fears about coming out, says David Bernstein

There's no reason to be afraid! FA chief Bernstein says gay players should have no fear about declaring their sexuality

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UPDATED:

00:13 GMT, 21 December 2012

Football Association chairman David Bernstein has insisted that no player should be afraid of coming out as gay after the governing body agreed an action plan to tackle discrimination.

Under the plan agreed by the FA Board clubs will face sanctions for failing to deal with racism and discrimination by players, coaches or their fans.

The FA also says it will strive for at least 10 per cent of referees and level one coaches coming from ethnic minority backgrounds.

Safe: David Bernstein believes no footballer should fear coming out

Safe: David Bernstein believes no footballer should fear coming out

Players and coaches arriving from abroad will have to undergo mandatory induction lessons to ensure they are aware of the 'British cultural environment'.

The plan, which will now be submitted to the Government, follows a Downing Street summit called in February after the Luis Suarez and John Terry racial abuse cases.

Bernstein said: 'This is a very important day. Ensuring the game is inclusive and combats discrimination has been – and remains – at the top of my agenda.

'There remain challenges ahead in this area and all of football would agree we need to find more ways of developing more black and ethnic minority coaches and creating pathways for them.

'Equally, no football player should fear coming out as gay at the risk of suffering discrimination and we continue to strengthen our support programmes to ensure the game is open to all regardless of their sexuality.

'The over-riding message remains that there is simply no place for any form of discrimination in football.'

The action plan has been agreed by the FA, Premier League, Football League, Professional Footballers' Association (PFA), the League Managers' Association (LMA) and referees' bodies.

Decision: An action plan was formed after racial abuse cases involving Luis Suarez (pictured left) and John Terry

Decision: An action plan was formed after racial abuse cases involving Luis Suarez (pictured left) and John Terry

Both the PFA and LMA say they would be in favour of players and managers having it made clear in their contracts they would face action for racist language.

The plan states the organisations would support 'standard clauses that address discriminatory language and behaviour, in managers and coaches' contracts.'

In relation to possible action against clubs, the plan states the FA would work 'with the Premier League and Football League to sanction clubs who repeatedly fail to sanction their employees, who breach their contract or code of conduct, or deal inadequately with fans in relation to discriminatory language or behaviour.'

The action plan should be implemented immediately, say the FA – and certainly underway by next season.

The FA will set up an 'Inclusion Advisory Board' to oversee the action plan, and will also call 'on UEFA to consider minimum standard codes of conduct' as part of the European governing body's club licensing system.

There have been suggestions that a miminum five-match ban will be brought in for racism but that is some way down the line – it will be considered by a working group.

Backed: Culture secretary Maria Miller agreed with the FA chairman

Backed: Culture secretary Maria Miller agreed with the FA chairman

The action plan states it will 'review the sanctions regime to ensure that it is timely, appropriate, proportionate and effective at all levels'.

It also calls for the recruitment process for managers and coaches to be reviewed with a voluntary code set up.

Culture secretary Maria Miller welcomed the action plan.

She said: 'While we have made significant progress in this area over the last two decades, recent incidents have shown a need for concerted action.

'We want to see this action plan implemented and the football authorities to show strong leadership on anti-discrimination at both the professional and grassroots levels of the game. The sports minister will continue to work with the football authorities to make progress in this area.'

Miller said she was 'encouraged' by the proposals to improve the ethnic diversity of coaches.

FA"s 92-point action plan to rid football of racism with quotas for referees and coaches

SPORTSMAIL EXCLUSIVE: We'll kick out the bigots… FA's 92-point action plan to rid football of the scourge of racism
The Football Association will introduce ethnic quotas for referees and coaches early in the new year
The latest video technology, including spy cameras, will be used to catch racist fansTough crackdown on offending clubsMoves to increase the involvement of women, ethnic minorities and disabled people

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UPDATED:

23:42 GMT, 12 December 2012

English football will introduce quotas for referees and coaches as part of an unprecedented campaign to tackle racism.

The plan will be adopted early in the new year and include the demand that at least 10 per cent of entry level officials and coaches throughout the game are from ethnic minorities.

There will also be moves to increase the involvement of women, ethnic minorities and disabled people in all forms of football, while Asian role models will be sought to encourage Asian children to play the game.

Confidential hotlines will be set up for players to report any form of bullying and discrimination, and fans will be able to text, email or maybe even tweet their complaints about any form of racism.

Race disgrace: John Terry (covering mouth) was banned for abusing Anton Ferdinand

Race disgrace: John Terry (covering mouth) was banned for abusing Anton Ferdinand

In addition, the latest video and audio technology will be used to identify supporters guilty of racist gestures or chanting at matches.

The far-reaching plan comes after a period in which football has been scarred by the racist behaviour of John Terry and Luis Suarez, and by the false accusation of racial abuse levelled at referee Mark Clattenburg.

PFA back ban call

The Professional Footballers’ Association will support the FA proposal of a minimum five-game ban for racist abuse.

PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor said: ‘We want to illustrate the seriousness of our approach to this issue.’

The extent of the fight against racism can be revealed by Sportsmail, who have seen the FA’s 92-point Football Inclusion and Anti-Discrimination Action Plan.

FA chairman David Bernstein has also given his personal guarantee in a letter to Culture Secretary Maria Miller, copied to Prime Minister David Cameron, that all the recommendations will be carried out once they have been rubber-stamped by football’s stakeholders.

The anti-racism education process being introduced will not just involve cultural lessons for overseas players and managers coming to England.

All sections of the game, including match stewards, will be given advice on how best to combat discrimination and the procedures to follow when it happens.

The FA will also establish an Inclusion Advisory Board to provide guidance on all equality matters and monitor the implementation of the plan.

Flashpoint: Luis Suarez (left) was in an ugly clash with Patrice Evra last season

Flashpoint: Luis Suarez (left) was in an ugly clash with Patrice Evra last season

The document has been distributed to all 92 League clubs, who will be expected to sign the charter for action against homophobia and transphobia launched by the Government last year.

Contracts with players and managers will have a mandatory reference to behaving in an inclusive and non-discriminatory manner.

A timetable has been set out as far ahead as the 2017-18 season as to when the 92 points will be implemented.

They start this month with the football organisations publicising the roles and responsibilities of each body — FA, Premier League, Football League, clubs, League Managers’ Associations, Professional Footballers’ Association and County FAs — in promoting inclusion and dealing with discrimination in football.

Also beginning immediately is the FA mandate that the proportion of ethnic minority coaches starting at the lowest level of qualification does not fall below 10 per cent.

And by season 2015-16: ‘The FA in conjunction with county FAs will ensure that 10 per cent of the referee workforce is from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities, which is reflective of national demographics.’

Shirt shrift: Manchester City's Joleon Lescott refuses to wear a Kick It Out top

Shirt shrift: Manchester City's Joleon Lescott refuses to wear a Kick It Out top

The proposals are the FA’s response to
the Prime Minister calling for the game to take tougher action after an
anti-racism-in-football summit last February.

Bernstein is making the fight against racism his personal FA legacy before he stands down next May. In his letter to Miller he writes: ‘Let me give you my own personal reassurance that this is an issue at the very top of my agenda.

‘It is one that I know we are all determined to address both speedily and collaboratively subject to the approvals processes of our respective organisations.

‘There is no doubt that recent events have brought into sharp relief the impact that race and other forms of discrimination can still have on the game. Incidents involving high-profile players cast a shadow over the sport and can undermine much of the collective good work achieved.

‘Despite the substantial progress English football has made in this area over many years we fully recognise that the work to eliminate discrimination based on race, ethnic origin, colour and nationality is still not complete.’

Official inquiry: The FA want more non-white referees to follow Uriah Rennie

Official inquiry: The FA want more non-white referees to follow Uriah Rennie

Bernstein was referring to the Terry, Suarez and Clattenburg cases and the FA plan seeks to prevent any repetition.

The hotline strategy follows Jason Roberts’ complaints about some black players not trusting the authorities to fight racism.

To counter that lack of faith in the authorities, the planned support structure will ‘ensure those who wish to report incidents of discrimination or bullying within the game, whether trainees, players, coaches, managers, other employees or fans, can do so in confidence and receive the support they may require’.

Ironically Bernstein also puts on record his strong support for anti-racism group Kick It Out, whose chairman Lord Ouseley has threatened to quit the FA Council in protest at their ‘mealy- mouthed’ response to the Terry and Suarez issues.

The recommendations may be tweaked after feedback from stakeholders. But they are broadly expected to be introduced following club meetings next February. It is envisaged that the final version will be presented in a ‘more user friendly and punchy format’.

Crackdown: Chelsea banned this supporter for making a gesture at Manchester United's Danny Welbeck

Crackdown: Chelsea banned this supporter for making a gesture at Manchester United's Danny Welbeck

Other key proposals include:

The Football League introducing mandatory minimum standard club codes of conduct.Social media guidelines for players and club staff to follow throughout professional football.Crowd management measures to guide professional and semi- professional clubs.Mandatory lessons for all to educate and change attitudes and ensure they are informed of the procedures to follow when incidents occur.Closer working relationships with police over hate crime in football incidents.Football authorities to discipline clubs who repeatedly fail to sanction employers who breach code of conduct, or deal adequately with fans in relation to discriminatory language or behaviour.A review of the recruitment process for managers and coaches at the top level.New programmes to help black and Asian coaches gain qualifications to challenge for top professional roles.Talent programmes specifically for Asian men and boys and the promotion of Asian male and female role models.Improve the reporting and analysis of in-stadium offences.

The FA are not just attempting to eradicate racism in their grand plan.

The commitment is to ‘promote inclusion and eliminate discrimination whether by reason of race, nationality, ethnic origin, colour, age, gender, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, marital status, religion or belief, ability or disability’.

Ugliness has tarnished football: month-by-month

FA to change penalties after John Terry and Luis Suarez incidents

FA ready to stamp on racists with new punishments for abuse

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UPDATED:

21:54 GMT, 8 December 2012

The FA is ready to introduce mandatory eight-game bans for any racial abuse in the wake of the John Terry affair.

And clubs whose players are repeat offenders could also be charged and fined under new guidelines being drawn up to revamp the FA regulations on combating racism.

The FA's independent disciplinary commission were criticised after only imposing a four-game ban on Chelsea captain Terry after he was found to have racially abused QPR's Anton Ferdinand

Controversy: Chelsea's John Terry (right) was banned for four matches after being found guilty of abusing Anton Ferdinand (centre)

Controversy: Chelsea's John Terry (right) was banned for four matches after being found guilty of abusing Anton Ferdinand (centre)

Liverpool's Luis Suarez only received an eight-game ban after he was ruled to have repeatedly abused Manchester United full-back Patrice Evra.

However, from next season any incident of proven racial abuse will result in at least an eight-game ban, with the possibility of those found guilty missing 10 or 12 matches under discussion.

And a rule which would allow the FA to charge and fine clubs for the actions of their players is a further attempt to ensure clubs communicate the importance of the issue.

So, Rafa Benitez, how do you solve a 50m problem like Fernando Torres?

The 50m question: So, Rafa, how do you solve a problem like Fernando

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UPDATED:

23:46 GMT, 24 November 2012

When Rafa Benitez takes his place in the Stamford Bridge dugout today in the Premier League showdown against champions Manchester City, some Chelsea supporters will doubtless have to remind themselves not to abuse their new manager.

Even on Friday at the club's Cobham training ground it was incongruous to see Benitez, the hated rival of Mourinho's Chelsea, dressed in blue. It will take some getting used to for everyone involved.

Not just Torres: Benitez wants to improve the whole team

Come in No 9: Benitez must find a way for Fernando Torres to produce the form he showed at Liverpool

But Benitez is the latest man charged with restoring Chelsea's title challenge, redeeming their failures in Europe and, along the way, helping to improve their abysmal image in a week when they have sacked a Champions League winner and seen their accusation of racial abuse against referee Mark Clattenburg thrown out because of negligible evidence.

Chelsea may be toxic, not least for managers, but Benitez does not seem to mind. When he received the call to confirm his appointment at Dubai Airport on Wednesday night, Benitez, initially, showed excitement before reverting quickly to familiar work mode, methodically analysing his options.

He knows the risks. On Thursday, as he travelled by train to London to meet the squad before dining with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, he was enjoying the usual jokes doing the rounds: the one about him being given two seasons, winter and spring; the one about no one being more than 20 metres away from a former Chelsea manager by 2025.

But for almost two years he has sat and waited for the correct job to come along and his self-confidence has never diminished.

While others thought he might be tempted by reasonable offers from slightly below the top-level clubs, including Aston Villa or Sampdoria, Benitez never wavered.

Turning back time: Benitez's remit will be to get the best out of Fernando Torres, but the task is a tough one

Turning back time: Benitez's remit will be to get the best out of Fernando Torres, but the task is a tough one

'More than 20 years ago, I was sitting around with Vicente del Bosque at Real Madrid and he said to me, “There are not too many managers. Not many people can cope with this pressure and keep winning”. So I had a lot of confidence I would get a job, a good job. This one is a great opportunity. It doesn't matter it's for seven months, even three months.'

In fact, Benitez was Abramovich's favoured choice to hold the fort for Pep Guardiola back in March but the owner was dissuaded then by the board because of the fans' antipathy towards the former Liverpool manager.

So when the owner's patience ran out with Roberto di Matteo and Guardiola remained unavailable, it was to Benitez he turned. During a three-hour meeting at the owner's house on Thursday night, Abramovich outlined his hopes for the club to Benitez.

Transfer talk has not been the priority, although signing a striker in January is vital. Benitez might wish to add a holding midfielder to that, with Javier Mascherano his dream buy, though Barcelona are not in the mood to sell.

But what Abramovich desires more than anything is to see his 50million investment in Fernando Torres pay dividends. 'Obviously I cannot say that we were not talking about Torres,' said Benitez. 'But we were talking about a lot of things.

'We were talking about ideas, how you like to do this, how you like to do that. For two to three hours. And I talk a lot! They can see he has to improve. Everybody can see that he can improve because he has the potential.'

Short of options: Fernando Torres and Daniel Sturridge are Chelsea's only recognised strikers

Short of options: Fernando Torres and Daniel Sturridge are Chelsea's only recognised strikers

It is wrong to assume Benitez has been hired solely to revive Torres. Abramovich, who has a deeper knowledge of football than most would imagine from his decision-making, would have relished Benitez's lengthy explanations of how to marry the side's new attacking ambition with a defensive solidity.

At some point in the conversation, it is almost certain that Benitez would have started using wine glasses to demonstrate positional plays in zonal marking to the billionaire oligarch.

And, at the training ground tour on Thursday afternoon, Benitez did not single Torres out. John Terry took the lead role in showing Benitez around. The players then had the first taste of Benitez's obsessive attention to detail. Training went on so long that dusk was falling and the lack of floodlights was proving problematic by the end.

But it is also true that Benitez has a blueprint to bring fresh life to the player he had at Liverpool. Benitez's analysis is that Chelsea cross the ball from deep areas, which does not suit Torres. Crosses need to come from higher up the pitch. He also hopes to restore the rampaging Torres, who used to go wide hunting the ball at Liverpool then cut in to unleash ferocious shots. Benitez feels Torres has lost that part of his game at Chelsea.

Then there is the matter of confidence. While at Liverpool, Torres was hardly indulged by Benitez – no one ever is – and the striker was shocked at what he took as his manager's coldness at times. But, having left Liverpool, he kept in touch and came to appreciate Benitez's ways.

Crucially, Benitez believes Torres needs both carrot and stick. He would always maintain he was harder on Torres and Steven Gerrard at Liverpool precisely because they were capable of world-class performances.

'With the arm on the shoulder, normally you are in the middle of the league table,' said Benitez. 'When you have to push the player, that is when you can compete for titles. With Fernando you have to put your arm around the shoulder and push him. Both things.'

Eden Hazard may well be the key to Torres. Benitez tried to sign him from Lille as a teenager to team him up with Torres. Even then, though, he was beyond Liverpool's price range.

'We were shopping in Marks & Spencer when we only had money for Lidl,' said one source involved in those negotiations.

No longer. Benitez's principal complaint at Liverpool was that he had to take risks in the transfer market because funds were limited.

Even so, his 2008-09 team went within four points of the title but Benitez acknowledges he is in a better position now. 'It's different. We didn't have too much money for the squad in 2008-09. We had to go for the 11 starters and four or five players, then we had to manage with the others. Here, there's a bit more depth at this moment.

'We had a good team but here we have a good team and also some players (below) them. I think Chelsea are as strong as Manchester City or United.

'The teams at the top are very close. You have enough players to beat anyone but obviously you have to tick all the boxes and they have to understand each other.'

Benitez believes he can tick those boxes. If he does, then even Chelsea fans might start to appreciate him.

Chelsea Mark Clattenburg fiasco: Ron Gourlay should resign – Jonathan McEvoy

The enemies of football are now pariahs of the Premier League… Gourlay should pay with his job for this

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UPDATED:

23:45 GMT, 22 November 2012

For a cabal that has found it easy to spread so much insinuation and so many insults about so many innocent parties, Chelsea cannot bring themselves to utter the one appropriate word.

Sorry was not to be heard in the wind howling down Fulham Road last night. It was as predictable an omission as it was sad.

The FA had found the club’s accusation that referee Mark Clattenburg called John Mikel Obi a ‘monkey’ did not stand up to scrutiny. All logic and instinct had told us that the minute the claim was made on October 28 following Chelsea’s acrimonious defeat by Manchester United.

No evidence: Chelsea's claims about Mark Clattenburg have proved to be unfounded - but they won't say sorry

No evidence: Chelsea's claims about Mark Clattenburg have proved to be unfounded – but they won't say sorry

Sky TV had failed with all 20 of their cameras to pick up the racial slur. The other officials cleared Clattenburg of wrongdoing. Chelsea had a record of intimidation and arrogance.

What is more, Clattenburg speaks with a Geordie accent. Anyone who has spent time in a Newcastle pub will tell you how those tones can be faintly indecipherable to English ears let alone to a Brazilian, namely Ramires, who thought he heard the insult despite the backdrop of a noisy stadium. Ramires’ recollections were translated for the rest of the team by David Luiz, another Brazilian. Mikel, the supposed victim who has good English, did not hear the word monkey spoken.

Despite all this — and after the shameful saga of John Terry, Chelsea’s totem, calling Anton Ferdinand a black **** — the club were going public within hours about Clattenburg’s supposed crime. They also claimed Juan Mata was called a ‘Spanish t***’, an accusation later withdrawn.

Nasty episode: The John Terry race row with Anton Ferdinand brought shame onto the club

Nasty episode: The John Terry race row with Anton Ferdinand brought shame onto the club

Why did they not keep quiet while they considered if a complaint was worthwhile That is a question for Ron Gourlay, the chief executive. A second question for him is: will you resign after this fiasco
Harsh Hardly. This is a club drunk on its own oxygen and wealth.

Take Rafa Benitez’s unveiling as the ninth manager of Roman Abramovich’s nine-year reign. He is the latest pawn in a billionaire’s game where normal employment rights — like reward for success — do not count because he can afford to override them.

No wonder the men on the pitch and in the boardroom adopt such high-handedness when the boss sets such a rebarbative example.

The litany of modern Chelsea’s bullying of referees is without parallel in British football.

Remember him Referee Anders Frisk (second left) was forced into retirement by death threats

Remember him Referee Anders Frisk (second left) was forced into retirement by death threats

The crime sheet goes back as far as February 2005, when the then manager Jose Mourinho accused Anders Frisk of collusion with Barcelona boss Frank Rijkaard during Chelsea’s defeat at the Nou Camp that saw Didier Drogba sent off. Chelsea were charged with inappropriate conduct and Mourinho was banned from the touchline. Frisk retired after receiving death threats.

Mourinho was cast as an ‘enemy of football’ by UEFA referees’ committee chairman Volker Roth.
Since then the wrath has been incited not just on the continent but also closer to home. Chelsea have gone from the enemies of European football to the pariahs of the Premier League.

In November 2006, Graham Poll sent off Terry as Chelsea lost to Tottenham for the first time in 16 years. Terry accused the referee of changing his explanation over why he had shown the red card.
The delightful Ashley Cole chimed in, saying Poll had warned Chelsea players he wanted to ‘teach us a lesson’. A fortnight later, Chelsea withdrew the accusation and Terry was fined 10,000.

Who could forget this Ref Tom Henning Ovrebo was subjected to vile treatment from Chelsea fans

Who could forget this Ref Tom Henning Ovrebo was subjected to vile treatment from Chelsea fans

Who could forget this Ref Tom Henning Ovrebo was subjected to vile treatment from Chelsea fans

Fast forward to May 2009, when Norwegian Tom Henning Ovrebo turned down four Chelsea penalty appeals. Admittedly, it was a shocking refereeing performance but not as wayward as the reaction of Drogba and Jose Bosingwa, who both turned on Ovrebo at the final whistle. Drogba screamed ‘It’s a f***ing disgrace’ into a television camera. Ovrebo was still being subjected to vile emails from Chelsea fans as late as this spring.

Last October after that infamous game against QPR, Chelsea were fined 20,000 for failing to control their players. Drogba and Bosingwa were dismissed in the first half. Manager Andre Villas-Boas called it a ‘very poor display’ — by the referee, that is, not his players.

The unfortunate referee then was Chris Foy. /11/22/article-2237127-0608100D0000044D-767_634x456.jpg” width=”634″ height=”456″ alt=”Sound familiar Chelsea retracted claims about comments by Graham Poll back in 2006″ class=”blkBorder” />

Sound familiar Chelsea retracted claims about comments by Graham Poll back in 2006

So back to Chelsea’s weasel words in response to the FA findings. They said: ‘Chelsea FC has a duty of care, as do all employers, to act responsibly when such allegations are reported by employees.’

It smacked of the usual one-eyed, self-serving nonsense that fails to acknowledge a wider obligation to football itself or the lightly trampled reputation of a blameless referee.

We are Chelsea. We snarl and we smear. Who says we should say sorry