• Premier League

FA responds angrily to 'ill-informed' accusation

ESPN staff
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Met Police have ended an investigation into Mark Clattenburg © PA Photos
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Football Association chairman David Bernstein has said in a statement that claims made by a representative of the Society of Black Lawyers that the FA is "institutionally racist'' are "ill-informed and unhelpful".

The claim was made on Wednesday by Peter Herbert, chair of the Society of Black Lawyers, who criticised the FA and Chelsea after the police dropped an investigation into referee Mark Clattenburg.

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

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

Herbert also claimed on Sky Sports News the FA were "institutionally racist".

He said: "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. If an institution fails to follow 14 years after the MacPherson Report's recommendations and it has a history of under-reporting race hate, what would you call it? We would call it institutionally racist."

But, in a statement released on Wednesday evening, 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."

Clattenburg is alleged to have used a term which could be interpreted as racist to Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel during the Premier League game against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on October 28.

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