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Football: Racial Discrimination

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN HL255, tabled on 21 October 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to combat racism in football.

Answered on

30 October 2019

We strongly condemn the recent incidents of racism in sport both at home and abroad. There is no place anywhere for racism in sport and we want it stamped out at every level of competition.

The football authorities have set out robust plans to combat racism in football. This includes a consistent approach to stronger education measures, improved reporting systems and better training and support for referees and stewards - such as through improved CCTV for recognition of offenders, and expanding the use of body cameras worn by stewards.

The FA have announced an increase of the minimum sanction for discriminatory behaviour to a ten-match ban. It is vital the football authorities continue to prioritise tackling this despicable abuse and we expect them to consult with both players and supporters’ groups as they progress their plans.

We will be monitoring how the football authorities implement their plans through the season.

We welcome the Premier League’s continuing commitment to eradicate racism from the game, with the promotion of their No Room For Racism campaign over two match weeks, that urges supporters to report discrimination.

After the appalling incidents during the recent Bulgaria versus England game, the Government wrote to the England team supporting and commending their dignity on the pitch, and to UEFA urging that swift action be taken to investigate the incidents and punish those involved.