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Football: Antisemitism

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN 214082, tabled on 29 January 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions he has had with (a) the police and (b) other relevant authorities on the monitoring of antisemitism at football matches.

Answered on

6 February 2019

All forms of hate crime are completely unacceptable, and government fully supports a zero tolerance approach by clubs, the football authorities and the police to dealing with anti-Semitic or other types of abuse when it occurs in our stadiums or sporting fields.

There are examples of good work happening at clubs like Chelsea to tackle the issue of anti-Semitism, and by Kick It Out and the Community Security Trust, with government's support, to monitor anti-Semitic hate crimes in the UK and highlight the concern. Together, those bodies released an anti-Semitism guide for match day stewards to help improve awareness of anti-Semitic behaviour and offering information on the current laws around it, as well as advice on what action to take. As part of the Hate Crime Action Plan (2016) and its refresh (2018), the government have also been supporting Show Racism the Red Card to educate young people and adults on the dangers of holding discriminatory/prejudice sentiments and prevent the development of harmful opinions into hate crimes.

The government is however alive to a rise in the numbers of reported incidents of discrimination at all levels of the sport, and I will be inviting together the FA, English Football League, Premier League, players’ representatives, and groups such as Stonewall and Kick It Out to discuss what more football can do to stamp out racist, homophobic and anti-semitic abuse at matches.