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Ian Wright wants football to get tough on racism

ACTION CALL: Ian Wright (PA)

PLAYER-TURNED-PUNDIT IAN Wright has demanded that the game’s authorities get their act together to beat racism after a new study revealed the extent of abuse happening in the sport.

The ex-Arsenal forward’s call comes in response to a report, carried out by campaign group Kick It Out, which suggested more than half of Premier League players had either witnessed or been subjected to racist abuse.

The study found that 92 per cent of footballers believed that abuse from fans from common or extremely common, while 57 per cent of respondents claimed to have seen racist abuse inside grounds.

In terms of homophobic abuse, 26 per cent of players said they had witnessed it at training ground or in the dressing room.

The anonymous poll was completed by 200 players, 32 per cent of whom are black and ethnic minority.

Premier League players made up 15 per cent of the survey, while the remainder were from the Football League.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, Wright said: “We never really deal with it properly. We never get it stamped out.

“We need to get people who have been involved in racism and people who have been victims of racism sitting on these boards so they can understand what is going on.

“Then they can say 'I would feel like this, you cannot say that, I am not offended by that, I really wouldn't want to hear that, etc etc.

“But all that happens is the issue just goes round and round and I am now tired of talking about it.”

He added: “We need to hear from these people when no incident has happened. They always react to issues but what is going on day to day?

“You want to know that people are still in the trenches doing certain things, but not just because a black ex-England player has said something and everybody jumps on it.

“It's something that has to be dealt with - in public - it has to be a continuous process and show we are not afraid of it.”

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