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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

"#Antisemitism in Football" - Excerpt from the Government Report "Government Action on Anti-Semitism"

 Brief football-related Excerpt from the UK Government Report from the Department for Communities and Local Government "Government Action on Anti-Semitism"

II Antisemitism in football

"While not as overt as abuse directed at black players in the 1970s and 1980s, there has been a worrying rise in antisemitism in the last few years that has received less back-page coverage than it perhaps ought to have done.

At the urging of the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism and following a special meeting of the Cross Government Working Group on Antisemitism, the Football Association held a conference to highlight their work to tackle antisemitism in football. Among the issues of concern that were discussed was the nature of communication between the Football Association and the Jewish community specifically with reference to former West Bromwich Albion striker Nicolas Anelka who was fined £80,000 by the English Football Association after making the "quenelle" gesture during a match.

The Football Association said that in the 2012 -13 season they had handled ten disciplinary cases involving antisemitism. Five were in the professional game and five at grassroots. Nine resulted in some kind Of Football Association action, either punishment or education (for young players in grassroots football.

Reports to Kick It Out of antisemitic incidents rose by 284% from the 2012-13 season to the 2013 - 14 season, from 7 incidents to 57. This was mainly due to social media: the number of incidents involving antisemitism on social media rose from 2 to 43. Overall, 20% of reports to Kick It Out involve antisemitism.

The Premier League is now working with the British Council to run cultural awareness programmes for footballers and will be running equality training for youth teams.

The Football Association has introduced Strict Liability for clubs regarding fans’ behaviour. This means that clubs are no longer able to argue the due diligence defence, that if they have taken all reasonable steps to safeguard against (for example) racist chanting then they can’t be punished for it. The Football Association will also punish clubs if there are two offences involving the same club within 12 months."

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