BAME Community asks for brave leaders

The Leicester based BAME Football Forum (BFF) have released a new report outlining feedback from community members who are urging football leaders to be brave in their leadership around the issue of racism in football.

The report asks that those who govern football, to show real accountability in relation to any failings, just as they do successes. It goes on to ask National and local governing bodies to take full ownership of the racism agenda and not only work with those best placed to achieve real change, but to be open to the idea that the current systems and processes are not all working.

Ivan Liburd, BFF chair, said: “Leadership is the biggest part of change and it’s time for those in positions of leadership to earn their stripes. In any arena, policy and practice drive system changes. We must use the voice of communities as our guide, and governing bodies to solve or reduce the issues raised.”

“I remain optimistic that lasting changes in football can be delivered, we just need to be brave. Be brave enough to change what we know to be wrong, or unjust, or discriminative, even if that’s the way it has always been done. Communities deserve to feel safe and protected.”

The report focuses on six main areas; County FA and Policing local football, Safeguarding and support, Co-production with communities, New and continued Educational programmes, Effective and positive leadership at all levels Building Better relationships with communities.
Members of the public who attended the land mark event at the King Power Stadium also want governing bodies to develop co-production approaches to the design of new or improved initiatives.

Those still at the sharp end of racism are desperate for proactive measures to be put in place to reduce abuse. Those who are in a position to make much needed radical change must be open to change. The community perception is that, there is either an unwillingness from governing bodies, or a lack of surety, on how to develop processes that support BAME communities.

The Forum will continue to offer assistance to governing bodies and will share a copy of the report to football decision makers and governing bodies to support changes that progress the BAME agenda.