Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Racism in Football

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:32 pm on 15th October 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Nigel Adams Nigel Adams Minister of State 12:32 pm, 15th October 2019

I echo every single word that the hon. Lady has just uttered. I know that she is incredibly passionate about football, and other sports as well. I sense that this is a bit of a pivotal moment. We have experienced these issues for far too long, but I think there is a collective desire to see action taken. I fully support the way the FA swiftly launched its complaint, the way UEFA is undertaking its investigation and the way the players handled themselves on the pitch. They let the football do the talking in the second half, but this situation clearly cannot go on, and UEFA should rule nothing out in terms of sanctions.

As I said previously, my predecessor hosted a summit with all the football authorities in England. Our Department is outlining its plans and how it will take them forward. That follows a summit on the issue earlier in the year, which involved players, coaches, fan groups, players’ representatives, a policing unit and campaign groups. There are a lot of proposals and plans that we will be working on, including stronger education measures, better reporting systems and better training and support for referees. Incidentally, I commend the referee last night for the way he handled himself and the way he supported the English players, giving them the option of step 2 of the UEFA protocol. As the hon. Lady knows, there is still more to do; it is vital that the football authorities continue to prioritise tackling this despicable abuse, and we expect them to do that.