FA comments on Rhian Brewster allegations

Friday 29 Dec 2017
Brewster won the FIFA U17 World Cup with England in October

Following today’s newspaper interview with Rhian Brewster, The FA has confirmed that it lodged formal complaints with UEFA and FIFA at tournaments this year over allegations of discriminatory abuse encountered by England players.

In a statement, The FA said: "We take such matters extremely seriously and have worked to provide support to our young players should they be the victims of such abhorrent behaviour while representing club or country.

"We have delivered workshops with our development teams, educating the squads on how to report such matters and the steps to take if subjected to abuse on the pitch.

"In Rhian’s case, we have visited him at his club to discuss his concerns and understand his frustration at the perceived lack of action. He has our full support and we will continue to push for appropriate responses from the relevant authorities.

"We have raised with both UEFA and FIFA a need for discrimination to be covered as part of the pre-tournament player workshops, and also expressed our concern at difficulties encountered in trying to report incidents.

"Our hope is to work closely with UEFA and FIFA to learn from these issues and to ensure a better way forward in order to protect young players."

I commend Rhian on his bravery in talking about these awful experiences
- Paul Elliot, Inclusion Advisory Board chair

Paul Elliott, chair of The FA’s Inclusion Advisory Board, added: "I commend Rhian on his bravery in talking about these awful experiences. He deserves our full respect for speaking out in such a mature and open way. As we enter 2018, no one should have to endure such discrimination and it is incumbent on all of us in the game to listen to young players and provide them with our full support.

"While some of these allegations are still under investigation, I share the desire of my colleagues at The FA to address this head on. Both UEFA and FIFA have received official complaints about these cases of racial abuse and we trust that they will address these matters with the upmost importance. Our players need to know that action will follow if they are subjected to such abuse – and be given assurances of the measures taken to tackle the problem.

"In the days ahead, I and my colleagues on The FA’s Inclusion Advisory Board will be talking to colleagues at UEFA and FIFA to understand what more can be done to avoid this happening again."

By FA Staff