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Anti-racism body slams 'weak' responses

Updated: 2012-12-13 08:03
( China Daily)

The chairman of an anti-racism group has accused England's soccer association and the top-flight Premier League of lacking morality and leadership over their handling of recent racism cases.

Herman Ouseley, who heads the Kick It Out organization, also rebuked Chelsea and Liverpool over the racism incidents involving their players John Terry and Luis Suarez, saying they failed to take a stand against unacceptable behavior.

"There is very little morality in football among the top clubs," said Ouseley, a lawmaker in Britain's upper chamber of parliament.

"Leadership is so important; you have to send a powerful message that racism is completely unacceptable. But there is a moral vacuum.

"The big clubs look after their players as assets. There was no bold attitude from them to say that they would not put up with it."

Terry served a four-game ban this season after being found guilty of racially abusing Queens Park Rangers' Anton Ferdinand by the FA, while Suarez was hit with an eight-match suspension for a similar offense last season.

Despite the punishments dealt out to the two players, Ouseley said the soccer authorities should have been more outspoken in their criticism.

"The condemnations have been mealy-mouthed," the former head of the Commission for Racial Equality said. "We want all players and fans to feel confident about reporting abuse. But the FA did not say anything about the lies and distortions which came out in John Terry's and Ashley Cole's evidence. Instead the players are protected."

Agence France-Presse

(China Daily 12/13/2012 page22)

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