Tuesday 27 August 2019 14:54, UK
Sky Sports News is shining a light on British Asians in football in a week-long campaign we hope will stimulate conversation and debate.
Kicking off on Monday August 26, we'll hear from some of the most recognisable Asian players in English football history, and showcase some of the work done by community heroes at grassroots level.
British Asians are persons of South Asian descent who reside in the UK. In British English usage, the term Asian usually refers to people who trace their ancestry to South Asia, the Indian subcontinent in particular (former British Raj and Ceylon); i.e. modern countries of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Maldives, and Sri Lanka. (source: Wikipedia)
Britain's South Asian community represents around five per cent of the total population, yet only two players from that community - Leicester's Hamza Choudhury and Aston Villa's Neil Taylor - are part of Premier League first-team squads.
According to Dr Daniel Kilvington, author of the 2016 book 'British Asians, Exclusion and the Football Industry', there were approximately 3,700 footballers playing across the leagues in England and Wales last season. Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) records indicate 12 players were of Asian heritage, in addition to five players classed as scholars.
So where are all the British Asian footballers? Why are they not coming through and what is holding them back? Do they have talent? Do community attitudes need to change? How big a factor is racism and prejudice?
We'll explore all of this and much more on Sky Sports News and across all our platforms in a week packed with news, exclusive content, features and interviews with British Asians from across the football sphere.
It all builds up to the latest instalment of our 'Tackling Racism' series on Sky Sports News on Monday September 2, hosted by Dharmesh Sheth and focusing on British Asians in football.