A lot is being said about the levels of discrimination in football, whether this be sexism, racism or homophobia. But, what is being done about it?
Reports of discrimination are on the rise for the fifth consecutive year and have risen by 53% in the last year.
Thousands of footballers, referees and fans are being subject to different sorts of abuse because of their gender, race or sexual preference.
Here are 5 of the top campaigns battling discrimination in the game:
1) Kick it Out
Discrimination in UK football has risen for the fifth consecutive year. But former Kick It Out communications manager Danny Lynch, now at the FA, thinks an increase in figures may be a good thing.
The famous organisation doesn’t only campaign for equality in the game, it also offers educational programmes at the House of Lords.
2) Football vs. Homophobia
This organisation works alongside professional and grassroot football clubs to combat homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in football.
The organisation was created in 2010, alongside ‘The Justin Campgain’, a campaign created to demonstrate homophobia in football, years after footballs first openly gay player Justin Fashanu took his own life.
Research by Stonewall, a UK LGBT charity, found that one in five 18-24 year olds say they would be embarrassed if their favourite footballer came out as gay.
Homophobia vs. Football works alongside Pride Sports, to reduce and hopefully irridicate homophobia in football.
3) Women in Football
With over 42 incidents of sexism reported in football last year, Women in Football are trying to pave the way for females to work in and around the sport.
Differently to many of the organisations campaigning against discrimination in football, this one not ony helps players, but it helps women in general. Whether they’re looking for jobs in the media or playing the game.
She said: “We set up 10 years ago with 6 members. We now have almost 2,000 across all professions in the industry.
“We chart sexism incidents, take complaints which are passed on to the FA and support women in legal cases if need be.
“We also challenge attitudes. We are still a voluntary organisation and receive very little funding. The work we do is immense in changing attitudes and behaviour especially over the last two years.
“Our survey of sexism in the industry is now the go-to-place for statistics and regularly quoted.”
4) Show racism the red card
This charity, similar to Kick it Out works to combat racism in modern football. Founded in 1996, the organisation targets young people to educate them and prevent any racism progresing into football.
The FA explain the thinking behind the length of ban for racism:
5) The Rainbow Laces Campaign
This was created to raise awareness for the LGBT community in football. Players were advised to wear rainbow laces in their boots to show their support.
It’s an initiative that now has over 40,000 sales of rainbow laces and is globally supported by professional players. Stonewall have recently joined forces with the Premier League to launch an LGBT initiative.
If you want to buy a pack to supporting the LGBT footballing community, click here.