IAB members backs Reporting Discrimination films

Wednesday 19 Mar 2014
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The FA’s Inclusion Advisory Board has given its backing to the new Reporting Discrimination, launched this week.

The board, which is "vital for meeting the future aims and ambitions of a modern FA" according to its chair, Heather Rabbatts, was formed in December and reflects all areas of the game’s diversity,  providing guidance on equality and inclusion issues to The FA board, as well as helping to deliver the Inclusion and Anti-Discrimination Action Plan.

Reporting discrimination in the Grassroots game


Joyce Cook, chair of Level Playing Field and IAB member, said: “I hope these new films become an important tool for fans, players and those working at all levels of the game.”

“The channels now exist to report discrimination of any kind including disability abuse, poor access for disabled fans, or sexism and gender inequality. It’s the job of everyone in football, from campaigning groups such as Level Playing Field and Women in Football, to the governing bodies, to ensure that these channels are easily available whenever they may be needed.”

Fellow member, Edward Lord, who also is chairman of the Amateur Swimming Association, echoed Joyce’s views: "We all want to feel welcome and safe at football matches, whether we are on the pitch or in the stands. 

“As a disciplinary chair and magistrate I know that the football authorities and police can only take action against those who perpetrate homophobic, biphobic, or transphobic abuse at matches if it is reported at the time or as soon as possible afterwards.

Reporting discrimination in the professional game


“The FA's new films are a great reminder to fans, players and officials alike that if you see it or hear it then you must report it."

Peter Clayton, the chief executive of the Middlesex County FA: “Discrimination in any form, is completely unacceptable – in society and in football especially. The new reporting and disciplinary procedures now in place give confidence to anyone who is the subject of discrimination, or hear or sees someone committing discriminatory actions, that will see their report fully investigated and dealt with.

“In the past there has been an ‘if the referee hasn’t heard/seen it nothing can be done’ feeling and so incidents went unreported. That is now very far from the truth and we carefully investigate all allegations that come into the Middlesex FA office. Our footballing community is as diverse as anywhere in the country as it reflects our demographics. 

“We have black and ethnic minority, disability and gay teams playing in the County and so we have seen this season an increase in the number of reports. This doesn’t mean that there are more incidents – it means that people now have greater confidence in reporting them knowing that they will be heard and that we take such matters seriously.”

Reporting discrimination as a supporter


Rimla Akhtar, chair of the Muslim Women Sports Foundation, said: "It is great to see that the FA is taking positive action in the area of reporting discrimination. 

"We are already seeing an increase in the number of incidents being reported and it is only by receiving these reports that we will be able to stamp out all forms of discrimination from football.  

"The FA, I know, are working hard towards this aim and I hope, with the support of the footballing public, even more positive steps will be taken in making our game more welcoming and inclusive.  

"I will be encouraging those throughout the MWSF's networks to get involved by reporting incidents they witness and spreading the message of these films."

By FA Staff