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SBD Global/December 12, 2012/International Football

Kick It Out Slams FA, Top EPL Clubs For 'Failure Of Morality And Leadership'

ManU's Rio Ferdinand, left, and Paul Scholes wear anti-racism T-shirts Oct. 28 against Chelsea.
Kick It Out Chair Herman Ouseley has "launched a damning attack" on the FA, the Premier League, Chelsea and Liverpool for a failure of "morality" and "leadership" over its handling of the racist abuse incidents by players John Terry and Luis Suárez, according to David Conn of the London GUARDIAN. Ouseley, who has decided to stand down from the FA Council and his other FA positions, said Chelsea and Liverpool protected its players because of its value as "assets." The two clubs did so even when they were alleged, then proven by independent FA commissions, to have "racially abused opponents." Ouseley said, "There is very little morality in football among the top clubs." Ouseley reflected on "a difficult year that turned turbulent" for himself and Kick It Out when groups of players boycotted the campaign's T-shirts in October. Ouseley: "Leadership is so important; you have to send a powerful message that racism is completely unacceptable. But there is a moral vacuum. The big clubs look after their players as assets. There was no bold attitude from them, to say that they would not put up with it" (GUARDIAN, 12/10). The AFP reported Ouseley also "chastised" former Liverpool Manager Kenny Dalglish and ex-Chelsea coach Andre Villas-Boas for "giving too much support to Suarez and Terry during their respective cases." Ouseley, "The FA should have asserted themselves, said they would not put up with people disrespecting the process, but the FA were very slack and weak" (AFP, 12/11).

EX-PLAYERS KICK IT OUT: In London, Neil Ashton reported former player Sol Campbell is "backing a scheme for FA fines to be diverted to Kick It Out and Show Racism the Red Card to help fund anti-racism campaigns." Campbell is among 60 high-profile names "supporting the initiative." Other "top names throwing their weight behind the idea" are Robbie Keane, Gabby Agbonlahor, Chris Powell, John Barnes, Dave Bassett, Shaka Hislop and Graham Taylor (DAILY MAIL, 12/11).

CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATIONS: In London, Ashling O'Connor reported English football's players and managers "would be sacked if found guilty of discrimination under proposals by the game’s authorities to stamp out racism." Premier League clubs are "considering introducing contractual obligations" for all their employees regarding acceptable behavior on and off the pitch, which would "equate the use of discriminatory language to serious gross misconduct." Some clubs already cover racist behavior in their contracts, but others do not. Therefore, the move is "an effort to standardise rules against a backdrop of criticism about the handling of recent high-profile incidents" (LONDON TIMES, 12/11). The London TELEGRAPH reported players and managers coming to England from overseas will have "cultural lessons" to make them aware of rules on discrimination under proposals to tackle racism. PFA CEO Gordon Taylor said that the proposals included all players and managers "having lessons on cultural awareness." Taylor said: "Up until now we have had cultural awareness courses for our apprentices, and the plan now is to extend these to senior players and coaches, including those coming from overseas" (TELEGRAPH, 12/11).

DERBY FALLOUT: The London MIRROR reported nine people have been charged in connection over incidents at Sunday's Manchester derby. Greater Manchester Police made 13 arrests from which nine people -- six Man City fans and three ManU fans -- were charged. Among the charges to be faced are "racially aggravated public order and pitch encroachment" (MIRROR, 12/10).
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