The chairman of the FA’s anti-discrimination group Kick It Out has launched a new campaign to tackle homophobia and other discrimination, and urged clubs to do more to support players who report abuse.
Lord Herman Ouseley, the chair of Kick It Out today launched the group’s seasons of action. As well as the new campaign, the group has launched a mobile app which allows players and fans to anonymously report racist or homophobic abuse.
Speaking to Sky Sports, he said that a change in attitudes and dressing room culture was needed to tackle abuse.
He called on the FA to do better following the handling of the John Terry and Luis Suarez racism cases which saw both players given bans for racist abuse. He resigned from the FA following the cases.
“I resigned because I was very frustrated with the way the matters had been dealt with,” he said.
“I pleaded with the FA and the then chairman (David Bernstein) to come out and hold their hands up and say ‘these were the mistakes we made and they will never happen again’.
“The Terry case took a year to be dealt with while with Suarez you had the then Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish flouting the FA’s authority and the player not shaking Patrice Evra’s hand afterwards.
“The regulatory body must act in a way that tells the victims that this is going to be dealt with in a way that might stop it happening again.”
The app launched by Kick It Out today allows both fans and players to directly and discreetly report abuse to Kick It Out, who have then said they will follow up cases with the relevant authorities.
“Part of the problems that were raised last season were players saying they had complained about an incident and nothing was done about it,” he continued.
“Some of them never even found out about the outcome of their complaint especially if it was not found in their favour because we had not been involved.
“Now if a player has have got a problem they will be able to contact us directly and if they wish anonymously, and we will follow through on the complaint.
“Fans will also be able to contact us if for some reason they don’t feel the confidence to report something to a steward.”
Former Dutch national team, and Ipswich Town footballer Martjin Reuser at the weekend said he would be among other high-profile Dutch footballers to join in the parade at Amsterdam Pride this weekend.