Football - App launched to tackle racism

Anti-discrimination group Kick It Out will launch a season of action on Tuesday with a new mobile phone tool for fans and players to report racist or homophobic abuse.

PA Sport
Football - App launched to tackle racism
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Kick It Out are behing a new app to allow fans and players to report abuse

The season-long campaign replaces the group's previous 'two weeks of action' and marks Kick It Out's 20th anniversary.

The change follows issues raised by the John Terry and Luis Suarez racism cases, which included criticism of Kick It Out's response by some players, and a drive to make clubs take more responsibility for tackling discrimination.

The mobile phone application will allow fans and players to report abuse directly to Kick It Out who will follow up the cases with the football authorities and if necessary the police.

Kick It Out chairman Lord Herman Ouseley told Press Association Sport: "Part of the problems that were raised last season were players saying they had complained about an incident and nothing was done about it.

"Some of them never even found out about the outcome of their complaint, especially if it was not found in their favour because we had not been involved.

"Now if players have got a problem they will be able to contact us directly and, if they wish, anonymously, and we will follow through on the complaint.

"Fans will also be able to contact us if for some reason they don't feel the confidence to report something to a steward."

Ouseley hopes the new season of action will prompt clubs to take the fight against discrimination more seriously, rather than view it as a box-ticking exercise over a two-week period.

"We felt the old format was stale," he added.

"Clubs need to show they are being much more inclusive and reaching out to fans to show they are embracing everyone, and taking the responsibility for educating everyone - players, supporters and employees.

"If an incident does happen then clubs need to take responsibility and not blame someone else."

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