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
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
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
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
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
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
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’.