Racism reports in football up 43 per cent in 2018/19, Kick It Out study reveals
Discrimination in both professional and grassroots football rose significantly in the 2018/19 season with reports up by 32 per cent
Last Updated: 24/07/19 2:57pm
Reports of racism in football increased by 43 per cent in the 2018/19 season, according to a study by equality and inclusion organisation Kick It Out.
Incidents of racism, the most common form of discrimination in both professional and grassroots football, continue to rise with racial abuse constituting 65 per cent of all discrimination reports.
Although an increase in reports could highlight a more confident approach to reporting incidents, the leap in reports could also identify that discrimination across the game is still an issue - which needs ongoing and constant education and the application of appropriate sanctions.
Overall discrimination reports in the professional game rose by 46 per cent to 313, with an outcome received in 62 per cent of cases.
Faith-based discrimination, which includes Islamophobia and antisemitism, rose higher than any other across this period, with reports increasing by 75 per cent from 36 to 63.
Discrimination related to sexual orientation increased by 9.7 per cent from 62 to 68. Reports related to gender remained at the same level (eight), while disability discrimination reports dropped from 15 to nine.
In the overall figures, which include social media incidents, discrimination reports increased to 581, a 12 per cent rise from the season before (520).
The FA have not informed Kick It Out of the outcome in 79 per cent of the 109 cases reported in grassroots football.
Forty per cent of these reports were from youth football (U18). Of this figure, The FA have not informed Kick It Out of 80 per cent of the County FA verdicts.
The statistics are compiled from all levels of English football, including the Premier League, English Football League (EFL), FA Women's Super League, non-league and grassroots fixtures.
On the numbers, Kick It Out CEO, Roisin Wood OBE said: "Football reflects the society it is played and watched in and these figures are sadly not surprising. The fact that racist reports have risen by 43 per cent clearly shows the massive work that all of football still needs to do to challenge this. In 2019 we need to ask the question what can we do better and what is not working?
"The sharp increase in faith-based based discrimination is also worrying and represents a challenge to us all - what are we doing to address this intolerance?
"We feel that incidents at grassroots level are still under-reported and this could be due to the length of time it takes a complainant to get their case satisfactorily concluded, and even then there's often disenchantment in the type of sanctions handed out. We need to build confidence that if you report a grassroots incident it will be dealt with effectively and efficiently.
"The online statistics in our view represent the tip of the iceberg and we renew our call for social media platforms - and the government - to help tackle growing incidents of online hate."