Racism, religious abuse in football rise for seventh straight year in UK
London, July 25, 2019 (AltAfrica)-Incidents of discrimination in football in United Kingdom, UK, rose significantly last season, according to a report by the anti-discrimination organisation Kick It Out.
Figures released on Wednesday show a 32 per cent increase of discriminatory abuse across the professional and grassroots game in England, with 422 incidents reported in 2018/19.
There was a 43 per cent rise in racism incidents, while reports of faith-based discrimination including Islamophobia and anti-Semitism were up by 75 per cent.
Incidents of discrimination relating to sexual orientation rose by 12 per cent.
Kick It Out also received 159 reports of discrimination on social media last season.
Kick It Out’s annual survey has now shown an increase in discrimination for seven consecutive seasons since it was first published in 2012/13.
Kick It Out chief executive Roisin Wood OBE said: “Football reflects the society it is played and watched in and these figures are sadly not surprising.
“The fact that racist reports have risen by 43 per cent clearly shows the massive work that all of football still needs to do to challenge this.
“The sharp increase in faith-based based discrimination is also worrying and represents a challenge to us all – what are we doing to address this intolerance?
“The online statistics in our view represent the tip of the iceberg and we renew our call for social media platforms and the government to help tackle growing incidents of online hate.”
There were 109 cases of discrimination in grassroots football but Kick It Out believe most grassroots abuse goes unreported.
Wood said: “We feel that incidents at grassroots level are still under-reported and this could be due to the length of time it takes a complainant to get their case satisfactorily concluded, and even then there is often disenchantment in the type of sanctions handed out.
“We need to build confidence that if you report a grassroots incident it will be dealt with effectively and efficiently.” ES