Bernstein hits back at claim that FA is ‘institutionally racist’

17:22 14 November 2012

FA Chairman David Bernstein. Photo credit: Sean Dempsey/PA wire

FA Chairman David Bernstein. Photo credit: Sean Dempsey/PA wire

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Football Association chairman David Bernstein today hit back at claims that the governing body is “institutionally racist”.

The claim was made by Peter Herbert, chair of the Society of Black Lawyers, who also criticised the FA and Chelsea after the police dropped an investigation into referee Mark Clattenburg.

Bernstein said in a statement: “These ill-informed and unhelpful remarks are at odds with the progressive and responsible approach being followed by the game with the support of Government to deal with these serious issues.

“The FA will continue working to strengthen processes to eradicate all forms of discrimination in football.”

Herbert hit out at the FA and Chelsea for not reporting allegations that top-flight referee Clattenburg used comments understood to have been interpreted as racist to the police.

The FA are investigating the matter after receiving a complaint from the club but neither body involved police.

The SBL did make a complaint to the Metropolitan Police based on media reports of the alleged incident but officials at Scotland Yard have announced no action will be taken “because no victims had come forward”.

Herbert said in a statement: “It would appear that there is a cosy little agreement between Chelsea FC and the FA not to report these matters to the Metropolitan Police but to have them dealt with solely by the FA.

“The FA have a dreadful record of indifference on hate crime generally; failing to challenge anti-Semitism at Tottenham Hotspur and at other grounds; eventually finding John Terry made a racist remark but remarkably found him not to be a ‘racist’; whilst the derisory penalty of a four or eight-match ban [Luis Suarez] is believed to be a suitable punishment for what in any other industry would be summary dismissal for gross misconduct.”

Herbert also claimed on Sky Sports News the FA were “institutionally racist”.

He added: “Institutionally racist? Of course it is. They don’t even implement what the Stephen Lawrence inquiry (MacPherson Report) recommendations were about how to report a racial incident, whether the victim or any other person believes it is.

“You will not find that on the FA website or any of the training given to referees, managers, coaches or players. It isn’t there. It should be.

“If an institution fails to follow 14 years after the MacPherson Report’s recommendations and it has a history of under-reporting race hate, what would you call it? We would call it institutionally racist.”

Professional Footballers’ Association chairman Clarke Carlisle defended Chelsea and the FA.

Carlisle, speaking at the Street League Academy in Manchester, said: “I think it would have been better if it remained within the remit of Chelsea and the FA to put any subsequent case to the Met Police.

“It is an allegation they are currently investigating themselves.

“If we reported all incidents from third-party evidence, there would be many investigations the police would have to go through.

“We have to have faith Chelsea have reported the incidents in good faith and that the FA will deal with it accordingly, and report it to the police if necessary.”

Clattenburg is alleged to have used a term which could be interpreted as racist to Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel during the Barclays Premier League game against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on October 28.

The FA is expected to announce the outcome of its investigation into Chelsea’s complaint within 48 hours.

It is understood Chelsea acted in the belief that the FA was the appropriate organisation to deal with their complaint rather than the police.

Herbert said he would raise his views with the sports minister Hugh Robertson.

The minister however said he could not issue orders to Chelsea to involve the police.

Robertson said: “They are welcome to approach me but I cannot instruct Chelsea to make criminal complaints, that is an argument he needs to have with Chelsea.

He added: “We had the Downing Street summit [on racism in football] earlier in the year and the FA are coming back to us before the end of the year and as soon as we have that response we will assess what to do next.”

Related articles


Live Blog Transfer Window Live June 30
 

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest Chelsea news

Monday, July 6, 2015
Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic in action (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Former Chelsea and Manchester United goalkeeper Mark Bosnich believes Asmir Begovic would prefer a move to Old Trafford.

Monday, July 6, 2015
Juan Cuadrado of Chelsea  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Juan Cuadrado’s agent insists his client is set to remain at Chelsea next season despite speculation linking the Colombian winger with a move away from Stamford Bridge this summer.

Monday, July 6, 2015
Munir of Barcelona holds the ball up  (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)

Arsenal have reportedly entered into talks with Barcelona to sign young midfielder Munir El Haddadi.

Monday, July 6, 2015
Arturo Vidal of Juventus  (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)

The latest transfer news and rumours involving the London clubs this morning.

Sunday, July 5, 2015
A TV camera films the action during the Barclays Premier League  (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

The general manager of Bundesliga club Mainz is becoming increasingly concerned that the English Premier League is going to threaten clubs like his.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Good times with Greenall's!

Good times with Greenall’s, a Great British gin sponsors Great British racing.

Read more
Escape to the picturesque sights of Cornwall

Summer is finally here, and what is the number one holiday location in the UK during the warmer months? Cornwall, of course!

Read more
Adrenalin junkies, this one's for you!

An icon of British engineering and a consistent favourite of James Bond, there are few names quite as legendary in motoring as Aston Martin.

Read more