FA rages at 'ill-informed' lawyer Herbert

 

The Football Association has reacted furiously to the Society of Black Lawyers chairman Peter Herbert's claims that football's governing body is institutionally racist, by calling them "ill-informed and unhelpful".

Herbert made the claims while criticising the FA over its handling of the case of referee Mark Clattenburg's alleged racist comments to Chelsea's John Obi Mikel last month. He said the FA and Chelsea have a "cosy little agreement", while denouncing the club's failure to make a complaint to the police over the incident on 28 October, instead reporting the case directly to the governing body.

Bruce Buck, the Chelsea chairman, has confirmed that other players said they had heard Clattenburg use the word "monkey" directed at Mikel, but stressed that it was the club that reported the incident to the FA, not the players.

Herbert himself made a complaint to the Metropolitan Police based on media reports of the alleged incident but the case was dropped on Tuesday through lack of evidence.

The FA chairman, David Bernstein, dismissed Herbert's accusations and he has been backed by Clarke Carlisle, the chairman of the Professional Footballers' Association.

Bernstein said: "These ill-informed and unhelpful remarks are at odds with the progressive and responsible approach being followed by the game with the support of Government to deal with these serious issues. The FA will continue working to strengthen processes to eradicate all forms of discrimination in football."

The FA and Chelsea were at the centre of Herbert's criticisms, for failing to report the Clattenburg incident. But Herbert also criticised the governing body for failing to act over what he believes are anti-Semitic chants from Tottenham Hotspur fans and for not having a system in place to train players and coaches how to report racism.

Herbert said: "It would appear that there is a cosy little agreement between Chelsea and the FA not to report these matters to the Metropolitan Police but to have them dealt with solely by the FA.

"The FA has a dreadful record of indifference on hate crime generally; failing to challenge anti-Semitism at Tottenham and at other grounds; eventually finding John Terry made a racist remark but remarkably found him not to be a 'racist'; while the derisory penalty of a four- or eight-match ban [for Luis Suarez] is believed to be a suitable punishment for what in any other industry would be summary dismissal for gross misconduct."

Herbert added: "Institutionally racist? Of course it is. They don't even implement what the Stephen Lawrence inquiry [MacPherson Report] recommendations were about how to report a racial incident, whether the victim or any other person believes it is. You will not find that on the FA website or any of the training given to referees, managers, coaches or players. It isn't there. It should be."

Carlisle believes Herbert was misguided in reporting the Clattenburg incident to police as a result of being a third party who was not at the game. He said: "I think it would have been better if it remained within the remit of Chelsea and the FA to put any subsequent case to the Met Police. It is an allegation they are currently investigating themselves.

"If we reported all incidents from third-party evidence, there would be many investigations the police would have to go through. We have to have faith Chelsea have reported the incidents in good faith and that the FA will deal with it accordingly, and report it to the police if necessary."

The FA is expected to announce the outcome of its investigation into Chelsea's complaint within 48 hours.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Britons buy more than 30 million handsets each year, keeping them for an average of 18 months
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Alloysious Massaquoi, 'G' Hastings and Kayus Bankole of Young Fathers are the surprise winners of this year's Mercury Music Prize
musicThe surprise winners of the Mercury Prize – and a very brief acceptance speech
Arts and Entertainment
TV Presenters Ant McPartlin and Dec Donnelly. Winners of the 'Entertainment Programme' award for 'Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway'
musicAnt and Dec confirmed as hosts of next year's Brit Awards
Arts and Entertainment
Orson Welles made Citizen Kane at 25, and battled with Hollywood film studios thereafter
film
News
video
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain