FA welcomes anti-racism manifesto backed by Sterling

Raheem Sterling has spoken in favour of a new anti-racism manifesto, with the Football Association also giving its backing.

Raheem Sterling was the subject of alleged racist abuse when England took on Montenegro   -  Getty Images

The Football Association has welcomed the publication of a new anti-racism manifesto backed by Manchester City star Raheem Sterling. 

England forward Sterling has spoken in favour of the campaign, from The Times, which called for radical changes to be made in football. 

"Up and down the game, across the world, black and Asian players, fans and coaches are subjected to racism," Sterling wrote in the newspaper. "Every day, from park football to the Champions League." 

Sterling himself has been a victim of alleged racist abuse this season, both while playing for City at Chelsea and also for his country during a Euro 2020 qualifier in Montenegro, and called for teams to be docked nine-points if their fans are found to be guilty of racism.

The manifesto's demands for change included greater representation of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people at a governance level throughout football, a consistency of sanctions across different countries and designated sponsorship exposure for anti-discrimination groups.

And the FA has given its backing to the campaign, while giving details of what it is doing to address racism.

 

"We welcome the manifesto as it complements and supports much of the work we are already doing to ensure better gender and ethnic minority representation in our game," said an FA spokesperson. 

"The FA wants to create positive change in English football to ensure it better reflects modern society, while helping to bring down barriers and inspire future generations. 

"We agree that there should be radical change at the top. Decision-making in football needs to reflect society and football' s fantastically diverse participants. In 2018, the FA launched its equality, diversity and inclusion plan, 'In Pursuit of Progress' where we set out clear targets, as the manifesto requests, for BAME coaches, employees and leaders." 

Protocols in place

A number of incidents in games across Europe this season have led to calls for more to be done when players are targeted by racist abuse during matches. 

"The FA agrees completely with the manifesto's statement that players have a fundamental right to a workplace free from discriminatory abuse," the FA spokesperson added. 

"Currently there is a protocol for players to follow if they hear discriminatory abuse, which is designed to both protect the player and also to ensure that the matter can be investigated immediately and the appropriate steps taken. 

"This can include the referee stopping the game and allowing the players to leave the field of play. We would encourage the protocol to be used rather than a player or players walking off as we believe that this is the best way to remove the burden from players." 

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