Cameron Holds Football Racism Summit After Suarez Controversy
Prime Minister David Cameron and culture secretary Jeremy Hunt are set to meet football representatives to discuss how to combat racism in the sport.
Attendees expected at the meeting include representatives from the Football Association, the Premier League, the Football League, The Professional Footballers’ Association and the League Managers’ Association and figures including John Barnes, Graeme Le Saux, Paul Elliott and Amal Fashanu.
The government is also set to announce £3m of funding towards the Football Association’s new National Coaching Centre at St George’s Park. The Centre will help train the next generation of coaches, with emphasis on people from minority backgrounds.
This follows the furore over apparently racist events in recent football matches, like Luiz Suarez's refusal to shake hands with Patrice Evra before a match. Further incidents, including John Terry losing his England captaincy for having to stand trial in July over allegations that he had racially abused another player have garnered further controversy.
Jeremy Hunt has said previously "We have made huge strides, in fact I would say as a society one of the reasons we have made huge strides in changing attitudes to racial discrimination is because of the changes in football."
But Hunt made clear that recent football controversies showed there was no room for complacency. The culture secretary said they needed to make sure everything is done to “stamp out this problem”.
Nick Clegg last year attacked the “racial ceiling” that existed in sport. In his Scarman lecture, the deputy prime minister attacked the fact that only two of the 92 league clubs had a black boss. He also echoed criticism of FIFA boss Sepp Blatter, accusing him of “trivialising” racism.