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FA chief hits back

CONGRATULATIONS: Bernstein hands John Terry his FA Cup winner's medal in May

CHAIRMAN OF the FA, David Bernstein, has labelled accusations of institutional racism made by Society of Black Lawyer's (SBL) Peter Herbert "ill-informed and unhelpful".

Herbert, chair of SBL, went on BBC Radio 5 Live and said: "We think the FA is institutionally racist.

"What we're saying is that the FA has no hate-crime strategy. Now that, for anybody in the industry of dealing with criminal justice, means they've got no systematic way of dealing with hate-crime in sport.

"To give you an example, the penalties on John Terry and Luis Suarez were derisory", added the lawyer, who specialises in human rights.

Herbert continued: "And then you have 104 incidents where players are sent off for racial abuse and not one of them is reported to the police, while you have 120,000 teams playing every weekend up and down the country.

"We think the FA is institutionally racist, has not got a handle on this issue, and its refusal to report this matter to the police looks like it is one of those football cover-ups, which is well-versed."

However, Bernstein responded, refuting the attacks levelled at the game's ruling body.

"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", Bernstein said.

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

This latest attack on the football authorities further demonstrates Herbert's refusal to let racism fall off the agenda.


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