Football’s anti-discrimination campaign and FSF partner Kick It Out has revealed a significant increase in reported discrimination at the midway point of the 2014/15 season.
Reports submitted have risen from 136 to 184 with a 65% increase in incidents - from 43 to 71 - taking place within the professional game. The statistics are collated from August 2014 until 28th December 2014 and compared to the same time period for the 2013/14 campaign.
Kick It Out’s chief executive Roisin Wood told the Guardian today: “The reality is the level of complaints submitted to us this season…barely scratch the surface of a widespread problem.
“To some, the...increase may be viewed negatively, but we take encouragement from receiving a greater level of reports, because it suggests people are more willing and confident to come forward.
“It is encouraging to see reports of incidents in the professional game increase by 65%, especially as the vast majority of these have been due to supporters self-policing and taking a stand against discriminatory behaviour inside stadiums.”
Kick It Out is just four incidents short of equalling the amount it received for the entire 2013/14 season (a total of 75) from across the professional game. Together with the FSF, Kick It Out runs the Fans for Diversity campaign - working across the country to make football as inclusive and accessible as possible to all fans.
The statistics show that racism (64%) and faith-based abuse (17%) – anti-Semitism making up all complaints – are the most common forms of discrimination which have been reported to Kick It Out.
The most used reporting mechanisms within the professional game are the Kick It Out app, responsible for 27% of reports, with the website form (25%) the second most popular. The level of grassroots reporting has matched the exact same amount as the midway point of last season with 34 incidents - 47% of these have been submitted to Kick It Out via email.
Social media remains a problem area, with a 24% rise in football-related hate crime on social media – a total of 73 compared to 59.