10 February 2010 (Press Release)
FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION RECOMMENDED TO RESTRUCTURE COUNCIL IN ORDER TO REFLECT DIVERSE SOCIETY
The FA Council should be restructured to reflect the diversity of society and make local positions available for aspiring black, Asian, Jewish and ethnic minority volunteers according to John Mann MP, chair of the FA’s taskforce on tackling Antisemitism and Islamophobia (ASI) and Parliamentary Chair of the All-Party Group Against Antisemitism.
Six key areas were considered in the report, namely referees, policing, stewarding, monitoring of incidents, reporting and sanctioning of incidents and community engagement and involvement.
Of the 16 recommendations in the report, some are likely to cause controversy. This includes publishing the names and photos of those with a football banning order in stadiums and around local communities, the establishment of an FA Senate to be created that reflects the diversity of society, Red cards for abusive and violent parents in the grassroots game and a points deduction for clubs who fail to combat racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and homophobia on the terraces
The ASI advisory group was established in April of 2008 following a seminar looking at specific concerns about these manifestations of racism. The group remit was agreed by its members with the overall aim of developing a clear, all-agency strategy to tackle Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in football. The group reported to The FA’s Chairman initially then through The FA Board Race Equality Advisory Group.
Membership of the taskforce is drawn together from Jewish and Muslim groups representatives of the Football Association, Football Clubs, Premier and other Football leagues, the Professional Footballers Association, League Managers Association, Football Policing Unit, Metropolitan Police, Equality and Human Rights Commission and Kick It Out – the anti-racism in football group.
John Mann MP, the author of the report said: “Football is a wonderful game and national pride. I hope the FA implements my recommendations in full to ensure our continued pride in the game and competitive advantage overseas. ”