MPs 'worried' by racism claims

11 March 2014 01:31

The Government has been urged to "eradicate any racism in the FA" by investigating Sol Campbell's claims that he would have captained England for longer had he been white.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has been asked to examine the former England star's view that the colour of his skin stopped him captaining England for more than 10 years.

Senior Labour MP Keith Vaz, chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, made the request to DCMS in a motion, which also notes the House of Commons is "deeply worried" by the claims of racism in the Football Association.

Campbell, who played 73 times for his country, has claimed the Football Association and the majority of fans do not want a black England captain.

The 39-year-old captained England three times in friendly matches, and he labelled the appointment of Michael Owen as skipper ahead of him "embarrassing".

Former international team-mates of Campbell, who played for Tottenham and Arsenal among other clubs, have rejected the claims, along with ex-England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson.

Mr Vaz's early day motion, tabled in the Commons, states: "That this House is deeply worried about the claims made by former England footballer Sol Campbell about racism in the Football Association (FA) and the impact of this on his career; notes that Mr Campbell suggests that if he was white he would have been captain of the England side 'for more than 10 years'; further notes that Mr Campbell was capped 73 times for England and captained the side on only three occasions; and calls on the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to investigate these claims to eradicate any racism in the FA."

Campbell, in a new authorised biography serialised in the Sunday Times, had said: "I believe if I was white, I would have been England captain for more than 10 years - it's as simple as that.

"I think the FA wished I was white. I had the credibility, performance-wise to be captain."

In a statement, Mr Vaz said: "I was shocked by Sol Campbell's allegation that the Football Association is institutionally racist.

"However, despite these claims, no-one at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport nor the Football Association seems inclined to investigate.

"If there is even a suspicion of racism this must be fully investigated immediately. Otherwise we risk undoing the good work of campaigns such as Let's Kick Racism Out Of Football and undermining confidence in the sport's governing body."

Source: PA

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