After a weekend in which football teams throughout England and Wales have demonstrated their support for the anti-racist cause, and when a number of players have expressed their frustration at how recent high-profile incidents have been handled, the Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF) re-affirms our commitment to campaigning to combat racism and all other forms of discrimination within football.
The FSF is a long-term supporter of the Kick It Out campaign, and has always backed not only their high-profile Weeks of Action, but also the tireless and consistent work day by day, week by week, that the organisation undertakes. Kick It Out is a small charity faced with huge challenges, and its staff, volunteers and supporters deliver high-quality activity across a range of crucial issues for football.
The FSF recognises and respects the right of individual footballers to make their own stand on these issues, and believes that non-participation in activities such as the wearing of t-shirts pre-match should not be the subject of disciplinary action by clubs.
Nonetheless, it is unfortunate that an activity intended as a display of unity against racism should be the focus of dissatisfaction with decisions taken by bodies elsewhere. Kick It Out is not a regulatory body and is not responsible for determining sanctions and punishments against players.
The high-profile incidents in English football over the last year and more have highlighted the importance of the issue of racism, and recent events in Serbia have underlined the continuing urgency to redouble efforts.
The FSF calls on all involved – including those players who feel strongly that not enough has been done – to come together to discuss and map out a strategy for tackling racism within football.
We reaffirm our commitment to continue working with campaigning organisations such as Kick It Out and Show Racism the Red Card, and to play a full part in ridding football of racism in all its forms.
- Like to have your say on this story? Go to the FSF's Facebook page.
The Football Supporters' Federation on Facebook.