“Football really is a game for everyone and although things have certainly improved over the years, it is worrying to know that racially motivated incidents are creeping back into the stands and impacting our beautiful game. No one should be subjected to discrimination or attack and this campaign encompasses those principles, and I for one am delighted to get behind it.”
Daniel Zeichner MP
Speakers at a meeting at the Cambridgeshire FA on Wednesday agreed to campaign together to keep racism out of football and to work to ensure that football remains diverse and accessible to all.
Matt Clements, manager of St Neots Town and an ex Cambridge United and Cambridge City player, stressed how the climate at games has improved immeasurably in the past 40 years, and reflected the mood of the meeting in wanting to campaign to keep things that way. Paul Sillett of Stand Up to Racism pointed out the dangers inherent in the growth of the Football Lads Alliance, some of whose members have increasingly sought to bring Islamophobia and racism onto social media and the streets. He discussed ways in which such racism can be marginalised in clubs and urged fans to take part in the Football Fans section of the Stand Up to Racism march in London on UN Anti Racism Day, March 17th.
The meeting also heard messages of support from Cambridge City's assistant manager Neil Midgley and from Daniel Zeichner MP, and the meeting was also supported by Histon FC, the Cambridgeshire FA and Show Racism the Red Card. It agreed to continue to promote anti racism both around football clubs and in wider society, using the powerful influence of the game to help inspire particularly young people to oppose prejudice.
Anyone wanting to get involved can email firstname.lastname@example.org or look at facebook.com/CambridgeSUTR
“It is important we keep pushing the message so that anyone, no matter their race, gender or religion, can enjoy football without fear of discrimination” - Neil Midgley, Assistant Manager, Cambridge City FC