Kick It Out, football’s equality and inclusion organisation, has revealed a significant rise in the number of incidents of discrimination reported at the mid-way point of the 2017/18 season.
The organisation received over 300 reports relating to 282 incidents of discriminatory abuse by the end of 2017, covering the professional game, grassroots football and social media. This marks an increase of 59% from the same period last season (177 incidents).
Racist behaviour (54%) was once again the highest reported form of discrimination, with homophobia, biphobia and transphobia (HBT) (22%) and antisemitism (9%) being other notable areas of reporting.
Kick It Out is a third-party reporting bureau and liaises with the football authorities and the police to take up cases on behalf of complainants, as well as offering support and guidance to those who have witnessed or suffered discrimination.
The professional game (Step 4 of the National League System and above) has seen an 75% increase in the amount of discrimination reports from this time last season. A total of 131 incidents were reported across the men’s and women’s game.
The Premier League made up just under half of the reports received from the professional game (49%), whilst the English Football League (36%), non-league (14%) and the Women’s Super League (1%) accounted for the rest.
Reporting at grassroots level to the organisation saw a small rise (14%), from 37 to 42 incidents.
For the full breakdown of the mid-season reporting statistics for the 2017/18 season, please see below this press release.
Lord Ouseley, Chair of Kick It Out, has called on the football authorities to increase their efforts in tackling discriminatory behaviour across all levels of the sport.
“Our latest statistics reveal a significant increase in incidents of discrimination in football, which should act as a wake-up call to everyone in the sport.
“The spike in these mid-season reporting statistics come against the backdrop of rising hatred in our society, as recently shown in Community Security Trust’s publication of reported antisemitic incidents. These pieces of evidence indicate there is no place for complacency when it comes to challenging prejudice.
“In recent years, the football authorities have improved procedures it has in place to identify and challenge discrimination in the game and we are pleased that more people are aware of the reporting avenues available to them - but we must continue to ensure reporting processes deliver outcomes for perpetrators, as well as victims of hatred in football.
“Ultimately, tackling discrimination must be a collective effort. The leaders across all sections of society and football, as well as the broader public and football supporters themselves, need to take action, report discrimination and help us eradicate hatred.”
To report discrimination across all levels of the English football, download the free Kick It Out reporting app – available on the App Store and Google Play. The app features the option to report anonymously as well as the ability to include video and images to a report.
You can also report discrimination to Kick It Out via its Online Reporting Form, or call the Freephone number on 0800 169 9414.