Ouseley: FA must cut out mistakes

30 July 2013 12:01

The chairman of Kick It Out has called on the Football Association and clubs to ensure that mistakes of the John Terry and Luis Suarez cases are not repeated as the anti-discrimination group launches its season of action on Tuesday.

Kick It Out will unveil a new mobile phone tool for fans and players to report racist or homophobic abuse.

Lord Herman Ouseley, the chairman of Kick It Out, resigned from the FA Council in December in protest at the governing body's handling of the Terry and Suarez cases, where both players received bans for racially abusing opponents.

Ouseley said clubs and the FA had to shoulder more responsibility, and that clubs had to change the dressing room culture that prevented players from complaining about abuse and deterred gay players from being open about their sexual orientation.

He told the Press Association: "I resigned because I was very frustrated with the way the matters had been dealt with. I pleaded with the FA and the then chairman [David Bernstein] to come out and hold their hands up and say 'these were the mistakes we made and they will never happen again'.

"The Terry case took a year to be dealt with while with Suarez you had the then Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish flouting the FA's authority and the player not shaking Patrice Evra's hand afterwards.

"The regulatory body must act in a way that tells the victims that this is going to be dealt with in a way that might stop it happening again."

Ouseley contrasted the reactions of Liverpool and Chelsea to the way Everton had handled Marouane Fellaini's head-butt on Stoke's Ryan Shawcross.

"Fellaini was immediately made to issue an apology by the club, who said it was an unacceptable action and that he would take whatever punishment was handed out," he said. "If you take that approach the healing process would start that much quicker. Imagine if Terry or Suarez had held their hands up straightaway."

Kick It Out's season-long campaign replaces the group's previous 'two weeks of action' and marks its 20th anniversary. The change follows criticism of Kick It Out's response by some players, notably Jason Roberts, and its drive to make clubs take more responsibility for anti-discrimination.

Source: PA