"Football cannot be used as a cloak for racism and intolerance"
11 April 2019 (updated on 11 April 2019)
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has made a statement, following a number of incidents at football matches in recent months.
This past weekend, a grassroots club that left the field and forfeited their match after their goalkeeper was subjected to racist abuse were fined a larger sum than the alleged perpetrators. This follows high profile incidents, including anti-Semitic chanting at a Chelsea - Tottenham match after which Chelsea faced disciplinary proceedings.
- Watch Parliament TV: Statement: Discrimination in football
- Read Commons Hansard: statement on discrimination in football
Making a statement to MPs, the Minister for Sport Mims Davies said;
"Wilfried Zaha, Raheem Sterling and Danny Rose all deserve our respect for speaking out about the abuse that is happening now. But ultimately they deserve our support. They need clear demonstrations that zero tolerance of this behaviour means just that. Be it player, manager or supporter, nobody who goes to games should have to tolerate discrimination of any kind, whether playing or attending".
Responding, the Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Tom Watson said;
"I commend the Minister for bringing this statement to the House [...] We were all shocked by the blatant racism during the game against Montenegro last month. Hearing Danny Rose say after that match that he can't wait to see the back of football because of racism is deeply depressing but sadly not surprising [...] The bravery shown by those players is commendable, but they shouldn't have to be brave. They're just trying to do their jobs."