Kick It Out chair Sanjay Bhandari: Unite football to rid game of discrimination
Sanjay Bhandari: "I will learn just as much from our most ardent critics as from our most loyal advocates"
By Toby Oliver
Last Updated: 12/11/19 8:49pm
The new chair of Kick It Out, Sanjay Bhandari, has outlined his plans to banish discrimination from football.
Bhandari will lead a strategic review into Kick It Out with all staff and trustees involved alongside the entire football community, with those vocal against the anti-discrimination body urged to get in contact with them.
He said: "I will learn just as much from our most ardent critics as from our most loyal advocates.
"This is a societal problem, not just a football problem, but football has a unique ability to influence social attitudes and can effect positive social change."
This comes at a crucial time for football with recent examples of racism leading those involved to demand more action from governing bodies.
England players received racist abuse from Bulgaria supporters at their recent European Qualifier in Sofia, which led to a stadium ban and a fine of £65,000 by UEFA.
Bhandari added: "I would therefore invite the key leaders of the FA, Premier League, EFL, the PFA and FSA to participate in such a conversation with urgency.
"I do not have one single vision for the future of Kick It Out. I see many fantastic possibilities and alternatives, but we will be led by what the football community needs."
The three other new trustees joining Bhandari are Chris Paouros, Cindy Butts and Kevin Miles, who will work alongside Katherine Allen, John Nagle, James MacDougall and Iffy Onuora in what is described as "a diverse, passionate and enthusiastic board".
Bhandari said: "We will need to build more robust and connect data and technology strategies around discrimination, diversity and inclusion across the entire football industry. Data is likely to be a cornerstone of our future."