Kick it Out launches phone app to report discrimination

Footballers hold a 'Say No to Racism' banner

Football's anti-racism group Kick It Out has developed an app for mobile phones so fans can report discrimination at games.

The body took the step after a survey of more than 5,000 supporters suggested at least two thirds had witnessed racist or homophobic chanting aimed at fans, officials or players.

The Tackling Discrimination survey also revealed many fans were unclear how to report incidents and were scared of being singled out if seen to take action.

The app and an online guide to reporting abuse and discrimination will be available to use from the start of the 2013-14 season.

"It will combat the fear that some fans expressed about being singled out if they are seen standing up to discrimination," said a Kick It Out spokesman.

Reports can be made anonymously and will be sent to the club concerned, with a copy forwarded to the Football Association.

Roisin Wood, director of Kick It Out, said: "The majority of football fans have told Kick It Out they want action to get rid of discrimination at all levels of the game.

"These new reporting tools will allow fans to help clubs and the relevant authorities target instances of discriminatory behaviour more consistently while maintaining healthy and vocal rivalries."

Kick It Out app screenshot
A screenshot of the new app

As well as highlighting a lack of awareness on how to report incidents and the fears that prevented some from taking action, the consultation also revealed:

  • 93% of fans say it is important to do more to tackle racism
  • 75% say that discriminatory language and behaviour and abusive language and behaviour are still a problem in football in the UK
  • more than three in 10 fans have witnessed racist (31%) or homophobic (33%) chanting aimed at other fans and nearly half have heard racist (44%) or homophobic (45%) abuse aimed at officials or players
  • 47% of all fans had never heard any discriminatory chanting aimed at other fans and 33% had never heard any directed at match officials or players.
  • 90% of fans support ejection from grounds for supporters caught acting in a discriminatory way, 82% support season-long bans, 67% support compulsory education courses from the club and 63% support life bans from the ground.

Kevin Miles, chief executive of the Football Supporters' Federation, said: "These incidents when the behaviour of the minority crosses over the line are rare, but we're encouraging all football fans to download the free app and read the reporting guide, so if they are ever in that situation, they are clear on what to do."

The survey was supported by the FSF, Supporters Direct, Level Playing Field and the Gay Football Supporters' Network.

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