A leading figure from Kick It Out has labelled grassroots football in this country as the “wild, wild west” in regards to the level of discrimination that takes place at that level and has even gone as far as calling for parents who are found of guilty of abusive behaviour to be banned from watching their children play. Troy Townsend, Kick It Out’s development officer, was speaking on the day that the anti-discrimination organisation released figures which showed reports of discrimination across all levels of football rose by a third last season, from 319 in the previous year to 422. Racism remains the most common form of discrimination, in both professional and grassroots football, constituting 65% of reports – a 43% rise. Faith‑based discrimination, which includes Islamophobia and antisemitism, rose higher than any other across, with reports increasing by 75% from 36 to 63. Townsend admits the findings are a concern, especially given this is the seventh year in succession that there has been a rise in such reports, and expressed particularly fears for what is taking place below the professional level. “For me, at the moment, it’s like the wild wild west. It’s a free-for-all out there. I have… Read full this story
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