On Friday 23rd June 2023 at the Cardiff City Stadium, Show Racism the Red Card and Football Association of Wales launched a report into Racism in Grassroots Football in Wales and highlighting key recommendations for change.
The report is based on extensive research and interviews with football community members within Wales from various locations and backgrounds. 23% of individuals reported that they had witnessed racism in the past 36 months. The report provided several solutions for the Football Association of Wales to create a more supportive and equitable environment within grassroots football.
The report highlights numerous issues around the lack of trust to report incidents due to the professionalism and confidence that the investigation will result in a positive outcome, there was concerns over the current reporting system and support for victims of racism. Additionally, the timeframe between an incident and charge accompanied by lengthy appeal process impacted the likelihood of individuals reporting a racist incident.
The report recommendations were split into two areas Policies, Procedures, and Governance along with Education and Training
It was recommended that anti-racism training was implemented for grassroots coaches, referees, League/area association members, FAW council members and employees.
It also emphasizes the importance of creating safe spaces for individuals who had reported incidents of racism and offering support to those who have experienced discrimination during and after cases were being investigated.
Dean Pymble, Campaign Manager at Show Racism the Red Card commented:
“It’s important we listen to the lived experiences of people from the global majority and use this insight to change policy and procedures to ensure equitable outcomes are achieved for all. Football should bring people together and celebrate Wales as a multicultural nation where there is no place for racism in any of its forms. We want to thank everyone who attended the launch and were part of this research, sharing lived experiences within the game isn’t easy and we thank you for your valuable contributions that are fundamental in moving the game forward in Wales. We’ll continue to work in partnership with the FAW to provide insight, guidance and support where required to achieve the recommendations we’ve highlighted.”
Jason Webber for the FAW said:
“We believe that football should be a place for everyone, with an environment that is fun, safe and free from discrimination. The recently released Racism in Grassroots Football Report has shed light on the persisting challenge we face in addressing racism and racist attitudes within our sport.
While the FAW has made significant strides in implementing new measures and educational programmes, we acknowledge that there is still much ground to cover before racism is fully eradicated from Welsh football. We will draw upon the invaluable insights and recommendations presented in this report to inform our decision-making and will leverage this knowledge to shape forthcoming initiatives to propel us forward in our ongoing battle against racism. We want to create a game that embraces equality, diversity, inclusion and belonging for everyone. To achieve this we will continue to work closely with SRtRC and members of the football family in Wales”
As part of the Launch event, SRtRC invited individuals from clubs from across Wales, League and Area Association members along with individuals who took part in the research to attend the launch.
As part of the launch, there was a panel discussion about experiences and impact of racism within grassroots football. Roopa Vyas one of the panel members quoted:
“I found the event really eye-opening, especially to hear some of the horrific experiences my fellow panellists had experienced whilst playing or coaching football. It shows we still have a long way to go, but through events like this, educating people within the game and working together to improve procedures and behaviours, we can ensure football is a game where all are welcome.”
The report is available for download on the Show Racism the Red Card and FAW PAWB websites.
VIEW OR DOWNLOAD FULL REPORT HERE
If you have any further questions about the report, would like support with any ongoing incidence or would like to report please feel free to contact SRtRC or the FAW.
Support for SRtRC: Wales@theredcard.org
Report an incident of discrimination ReportIT@FAW.Cymru visit www.FAW.Cymru/ReportIT