Kick It Out report reveals 35% rise in discrimination reporting in English football04 March 2015

AnewKickItOutreporthasrevealed a35%increaseonincidentsofdiscriminationreportedtotheorganisationatthemidwaypointofthe2014/15season.

The statistics, which have been collated from August 2014 until 28 December 2014, are compared to the same time period for the 2013/14 campaign.

The reports relate to professional and grassroots football, and social media platforms, and also consist of incidents involving professional participants.

The comparison shows reports submitted to Kick It Out have leapt from 136 to 184 with a 65% increase in incidents – from 43 to 71 – taking place within the professional game.

This means that the numbers are just four incidents short of equalling the amount received for the entire 2013/14 season (a total of 75) from across the professional game.

The statistics show that racism (64%) and faith-based abuse (17%) – antisemitism making up all complaints – are the most common forms of discrimination reported.

Significantly, there have been 13 reports of sexism compared to just two incidents for the whole of last season. Reports relating to discrimination based on sexual orientation have risen from five to 15.

The most-used reporting mechanism within the professional game is the Kick It Out app. The app has been responsible for 27% of reports with the website form (25%) the second most popular.

The level of grassroots reporting has matched the exact same amount as the midway point of last season with 34 incidents – 47% of these submitted via email.

The statistics also show a 24% rise in football-related hate crime on social media – a total of 73 compared to 59 reported last season.

Following the launch of the report, Mark Ives, the head of judicial services of the English FA, told the Guardian he estimates the governing body has received 70% more reports of racist abuse and other discrimination this season in grass roots amateur football, and he expects by May the total will exceed 800 cases nationwide.

Welcoming the rise in discrimination reporting, Ives said: “It may seem strange to say that it is good to see cases increase from 477 last year at grassroots level to probably 800 this year, but we believe anecdotally the problem itself is not increasing, and that this represents people feeling more confident about reporting abuse.”

Britain’s sports minister Helen Grant said: “These figures show that there is still hard work to be done to tackle racist, antisemitic, homophobic and sexist abuse in the game. The rise in the number of incidents reported is a concern; however it does also highlight that Kick It Out and the football authorities’ zero tolerance approach at every level of the game is cutting through, with people not willing to stand by and ignore or tolerate disgusting, deplorable abuse.”

Overall report statistics
Number of incidents – 184

Type of discrimination – Race (117), Faith (32 – all of which are antisemitism), Sexual Orientation (15), Gender (13), Disability (7), Age (0), Other (0)

Professional game complaints
Type of discrimination – Race (72%), Sexual Orientation (13%), Faith (8%), Gender (7%), Disability (0%), Age (0%), Other (0%)

Professional participant complaints
Type of discrimination – Sexual Orientation (33%), Faith (33%), Race (17%), Gender (17%), Disability (0%), Age (0%)

Grassroots complaints
Type of discrimination – Race (64%), Gender (18%), Disability (9%), Faith (6%), Sexual Orientation (3%), Age (0%)

Social media incidents
Type of discrimination – Race (59%), Faith (30%), Disability (5.5%), Sexual Orientation (4%), Gender (1.5%), Age (0%)

Cases closed (from August 2014 until 28 December 2014)

Professional game
42 cases closed
10 cases proven (24%)

Professional participant
3 cases closed
2 cases proven (67%)

18 cases closed
6 cases proven (33%)

Social media
73 incidents reported
21 cases led to offender identified and/or action taken and/or account deleted (29%)

From Kick It Out and The Guardian