Kick It Out chairman ready to quit as he accuses Chelsea and Liverpool of a 'morality and leadership' failure

Lord Herman Ouseley critical of handling of John Terry and Luis Suarez racism cases

Lord Ouseley is ready to quit as chairman of football's anti-racism campaign over his frustration at the “collective failure” of the game's authorities to deal with high-profile incidents in the past year.

Ouseley has been chairman of Kick It Out since their inception in 1997 but in a wide-ranging interview with the Evening Standard admits he could go in "days".

The 67-year-old accuses the game of "lacking morality" and criticises the authorities' inability to tackle the problem. "I may not be around," he said. "It could be a matter of days. It is as close as that."

The former chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality's admission comes days after the issue returned to the headlines when a Swansea fan was arrested and charged with abusing Norwich defender Sebastien Bassong.

Ouseley said: "I believe there has been a collective failure on the part of people running the game. They have to come forward very soon with a plan to show that what happened in the last year will not happen again.

"We need to see some dynamic leadership from David Bernstein [Football Association], Richard Scudamore [Premier League] and Gordon Taylor [Professional Footballers' Association].

"Vile chanting and abusive behaviour is out there and we are in very dangerous times with the increase of right-wing activity and intolerance."

Ouseley criticised Liverpool for backing Luis Suarez after the striker was banned and fined for racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra.

And he took Chelsea to task for backing John Terry in the lead up to his hearing for racially abusing Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand.

Ouseley discloses: "I raised with Bruce Buck [chairman] and Ron Gourlay [chief executive] that the manager was prejudicing proceedings by forming a view before the matter was properly considered. Then things went quieter. My view is that football as a whole needs to show a greater sense of morality. You have a responsibility to the game and that's where it lacks leadership."

Ouseley received some 350 abusive emails from Liverpool fans when he criticised Dalglish over his attitude to the Suarez affair. But the 67-year-old, who came here as an 11-year-old from Guyana and suffered racial abuse and violence during his working career, wants to play down his own situation.

He adds: "When you've have bullets in the post and threats on your life and your family, abusive emails are not necessarily going to hurt you. As chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality I got excrement in the post.

"It was Anton Ferdinand who needed support. His mother was being threatened. His family were under siege. Roy Hodgson said he was leaving Rio out for footballing reasons but that did not prevent speculation that he ultimately lost his position in the England side because he could not play with Terry.

"Anton's attitude was, 'I'm the innocent one here.' He told me, 'If I had heard [what Terry had said], I would've probably got a red card.'"

Ferdinand did not specify what he would have done but Ouseley got the impression he would have thumped Terry, and says: "A lot of black players solve these things in the tunnel."

Ouseley also believes he was not given the full picture by Bernstein when he asked the FA chairman to axe Terry as England captain immediately after the incident in October 2011.

"The problem is that people were allowed to influence the process in their own way and do damage," he says. That damage he feels was done in the way Liverpool and Kenny Dalglish showed support for Suarez but also,  he says: "We had an FA which wouldn't take the [England] captaincy away from Terry."

And Ouseley reveals: "I raised the matter with Bernstein on behalf of Kick It Out as soon as it happened. He said the FA's position is that the manager appoints the captain. He has total responsibility for the playing side.

"We said, 'But it is an honour to captain your country, an honour you bestow on someone who is the leader and sets the tone in football. If it's an honour and a man is being accused, then that honour should be suspended. That is what normally happens. Why does football shy away from that?'

"But Bernstein said, 'We have a contractual obligation of no interference with the role of the manager of the England team'.

"Eventually, they realised that England couldn't go to the European Championship with this thing hanging over them."

Terry was stripped of the captaincy in February this year, a move which saw boss Fabio Capello quit, but Ouseley said: "From the outset, the chairman said the FA had a policy and a contractual obligation of no interference with the role of the England manager. In other words, we cannot intervene. The manager appoints the captain, he has total responsibility for all the playing side."

Terry was then axed, said Ouseley, because, "they came to a realisation that they couldn't go to a major European competition with this thing hanging over them".

Drawing a chilling parallel with the 1970s, another period of economic austerity, Ouseley says: "Then the National Front organised outside and inside football. Now we have evidence of extreme organisations, the English Defence League and other fringe groups, that want to get a toehold back into football. They are trying to penetrate back into football.

"When people are unemployed, have little income, you once again have the spectre of massive movements of migrants from Eastern Europe, more people sleeping on the streets, then scapegoating comes to the fore as a way of venting frustrations. We've got to be careful because football offers very fertile terrain where people go to get rid of their frustrations."

An FA spokesman said today: "The FA had and continues to have an agreement with the England manager that he would have final say on squad selection - subject to certain caveats.

"When it became clear that the court case would be delayed until after the Euros, the FA Board - led by chairman David Bernstein - took a collective decision in these unique circumstances to remove the captaincy, whilst allowing the manager the authority on squad selection.

"The FA have subsequently introduced a Code of Conduct for England players which makes it clear that being an England captain is a privileged position which brings with it a higher level of responsibility. It gives authority for the Club England management to remove an England captain and/or exclude a player from any squad if appropriate."

Meanwhile, reports today have outlined a 93-point plan by football's authorities in response to Prime

Minister David Cameron's demands for tougher action on racism.

'English Football's Inclusion and Anti- Discrimination Action Plan' reveals the authorities are considering the introduction of cultural lessons for foreign players and a mandatory anti-discrimination clause in all players' and managers' contracts.

Sport
footballLIVE City face Stoke, while Warnock returns to Palace dugout
Arts and Entertainment
books
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
gadgets + techSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind the scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
News
i100
News
The slice of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding cake and the original box from 29 July 1981
newsPiece of Charles and Diana's wedding cake sold at auction in US
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
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

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone