Football: New fight against racism

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The Independent Online
JOHN FASHANU and Paul Elliott yesterday expressed their satisfaction that racist abuse within football was declining, but they stressed that there remain areas of continued concern.

'Every side you can think of, bar Everton, has at least three to four black players,' Fashanu said at the London launch of the second phase of the Kick Racism Out Of Football campaign. 'I think there is a problem at Everton. Although the supporters' side of things is getting better at Goodison Park, in 1994 we would expect to see one or two black players out on the pitch.'

The Wimbledon striker stressed racist chants had become rarer at Goodison this season, thanks in part to the Campaign for Racial Equality's drive, backed by the Professional Footballers' Association, the Football Trust and all but York City of the 92 clubs.

'But more needs to be done to promote clubs as safe, welcoming venues where supporters can enjoy a match without fear of racial harassment,' Hermann Ouseley, the CRE chairman, said. Improvement would follow through posters, programme editorial and tougher stewarding, along with the planned awareness day in August and a one-off fanzine.

Revoking season tickets was another powerful measure. 'When QPR's Devon White was a victim of horrendous racial abuse at Blackburn, Jack Walker and Kenny Dalglish banned the supporter for 12 months,' Elliott, of Chelsea, said.

'Grown men have been known to cry,' superintendent Peter Durham, Newcastle United's ground commander, said, 'not at the thought of what the courts might do - but because they could well lose their season ticket and the right to see their team play for ever.'