Kick It Out, football’s equality and inclusion campaign, is today launching a major consultation with fans on how to further tackle discrimination. The ‘Tackling Discrimination’ consultation will mark the start of Kick It Out’s annual One Game, One Community weeks of action (18 - 29 October), supported by players, managers, coaches and administrators at amateur and elite level, as the charity enters its twentieth year. The findings of the fan consultation will help form a blueprint for tackling discrimination over the coming seasons.
Lord Herman Ouseley, Chair of Kick It Out, said: “At a time when discrimination is high up the football agenda, it is easy for fans and players to forget the great strides made over the last 20 years in helping to eradicate it. But there is still a long way to go. We are launching this important dialogue with football fans to help set out how we move forward to achieve a zero tolerance approach to discrimination in all its forms, at all levels of the game.”
“The One Game, One Community weeks of action provide a focal point for everyone connected to football, from supporters to players, to stand up against discrimination in all its forms.”
The Tackling Discrimination fan survey, hosted by Populus, and developed in partnership with key fans groups, will run during the current football season and can be accessed at http://populuslive.spss-asp.com/ASP/P001557/flash.asp It covers a range of topics from how to improve reporting of abusive behaviour and enforcement in grounds, to combating abusive behaviour on social media. Fans have the chance to suggest what more could be done by clubs and football authorities to help stop all types of discrimination. Kick It Out will also engage with players during this period to canvass their opinions.
PFA Chairman, Clarke Carlisle, welcomed the move: “The responsible majority of fans in this country are on board with stamping out discrimination, and want more to be done.
“They are a powerful voice in football and this survey gives them a chance to have their say,” said the York City defender: “We want to make sure we tackle the tiny minority for whom the healthy rivalries and passion that make the game great, tip over into unacceptable prejudice and hatred.”
Everton captain, Phil Neville, said: “There is no place for any form of abuse and discrimination in football. I’m proud to support the One Game, One Community weeks of action campaign and this important consultation with fans. After all the progress made so far in tackling abuse, we cannot sit back, we must ensure that all forms of discrimination are made unacceptable.”
Weeks of action
The One Game, One Community weeks of action period is a platform for all 92 professional football clubs across England and Wales to show their support for the anti-discrimination campaign and to promote the club’s own equality events and activities. Every professional football club has nominated a home fixture as its own day of action. In addition to these fixtures, events and activities will be taking place at schools, prisons, libraries, community clubs and at grass roots level all over the country.
The campaign also has support and commitment from the Kick It Out XI, comprised of some of the game’s male and female talents, past and present, who have demonstrated a desire to make football accessible and open to anyone that wants to get involved.
About Kick It Out
Kick It Out is a charity funded by The FA, the PFA and the Premier League and has been at the forefront of anti-discrimination campaigning and education work for two decades, working all year round with professional and amateur clubs at all levels of the game. This work includes helping clubs achieve the Equality Standard, a three tiered framework in recognition of their efforts to improve diversity and tackle prejudice, both internally and externally.
Education and enforcement
Kick It Out is currently working with the Premier League on a number of initiatives to strengthen enforcement including enhancing steward’s training and developing mobile phone apps and textline services within stadiums for fans to report abuse anonymously and instantaneously.
There were just 962 new banning orders at all levels of the game in England & Wales in 2010/11; while a tiny proportion of fans need to be arrested (less than 0.01% each year). The Home Office reports that banning orders work, as 92% of fans banned since 2000 have been rehabilitated into safely watching football.