Clubs need more diverse representatives, says anti-racism charity

There were more than two-hundred racism-related crimes committed during British football matches last year.

GRASSROOTS football clubs in Wales need to make sure their top representatives reflect diverse backgrounds. That’s according to Show Racism the Red Card Cymru – the anti-racism education charity trying to tackle the problem head on.

Dean Pymble, Campaign Manager for the charity, says racism will continue if BAME voices aren’t heard at a local level.

“We really need to look at that audit tool and seeing is there a voice for people with different religions,” he said.

Dean Pymble (right), pictured here with a member of the Syrian Welsh Society, says that football clubs need more vocal voices from diverse backgrounds.
SOURCE: Show Racism the Red Card Cymru

 “You know, does everybody on the board look a similar way, have a similar gender, or have similar life experiences. Until we change the structures of boards and committees, it’s very difficult for people to make the right decisions because they only know what they know.

This follows Islamophobic comments made towards players and staff of AFC Butetown in their recent South Wales Alliance match against Trebanog FC.

An assistant female manager from Trebanog FC reportedly began to shout abuse at the Butetown squad in their 4-1 win.

Racial slurs and jibes were allegedly said, particularly directed to Muslim players to “go back to the mosque”.

This isn’t the first time a grassroots game in the Welsh leagues has been marred by racism – a match in early 2022 was called off mid-game after one player was racially abused for majority of the game.

Policing is more difficult at a local level due to the lack of investment in new technologies that can help the process.

“I think you hear it more at a grassroots level now,” Mr Pymble said.

“These allegations go uncharged because there’s not enough evidence and it get’s left behind. It’s a he-said-she-said situation and nothing ever gets resolved.

“At a professional level, they’ve got CCTV, they’ve got stewards. The clubs can sort it properly, but it’s not the case here.

AFC Butetown filed a report to the South Wales Football Association who are now investigating the matter. Supporters of the club are calling for the FAW to sanction or at least investigate Trebanog FC further.

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