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Lord Ouseley to step down as Kick It Out chair

STEPPING DOWN: Kick It Out founder and chair Lord Herman Ouseley

KICK IT Out founder Lord Herman Ouseley has announced his intention to step down from his role as chair of the organisation.

A new chairperson will be sought to replace Ouseley, who steps down at the end of the season after 25 years Kick It Out, in the new year.

Ouseley said: "When I set up the Let's Kick Racism Out of Football in 1993, I hoped that the football authorities would take it on board and tackle the problem. It proved to be a long haul with a slow process of change in pursuit of equality, inclusion and cohesion.

“Recent progress across the game in pursuing equalities for all is offset by the wider society afflictions of prejudice and hatred from which football cannot escape.

“Over the past decade, I have indicated my wish each year to step down from the chair and move on and handover the reins to younger equality advocates and campaigners but have always been told that 'not now, this is the wrong time' and no-one else has stuck their head above the parapet to lead the organisation.

TACKLING RACISM: England's Marcus Rashford warms up in a Kick It Out t-shirt

“Well now is the right time for new leadership of Kick It Out as I re-focus my life for new challenges after 56 years of public service.

“I have thrown challenges at the leaders in football and they need to show their hands – they need to show they are capable of bringing about lasting change if they all come together out of their silos and take a dynamic and coherent approach to meeting the equality challenges.

“Kick It Out is well positioned with excellent staff to keep the momentum of activity afloat in helping football to be a powerhouse for equality, inclusion and diversity. It is also well positioned to continue its excellent work in helping to prepare the next generation of players for the diversity of cultures in the game and to handle all inequalities, discrimination and prejudice.

“There is so much to be done before I sign off next year, so onwards with the action while I prepare to hang up my boots."

The 73 year old's announcement comes as Chelsea and the Metropolitan Police investigate an alleged incident of racial abuse by a fan against Manchester City's Raheem Sterling.

In his response to the incident, Ouseley, a columnist at The Voice criticised the west London club's handling of it.

He said: “Where is Richard Scudamore, where is Greg Clarke, where is Chelsea’s chairman – they should have been talking out last night and it has to [be] dealt with at the top.

“We do not have any leadership at the top of the game to speak out, they rely on Kick It Out.”

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