Changing things from the grassroots up

A new football forum set up to support grassroots clubs from minority communities in Leicestershire has launched.

Leicestershire’s new Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Football Forum (BFF) – believed to be the first of its kind in the country – is appealing for spectators, players, coaches and family members across the Leicestershire and wider, to share their personal experiences of discrimination to shape future improvements.

The move follows a series of high-profile incidents in top flight football which have sparked calls for tougher action to address racism in the game.

The BFF is a new partnership of a number of grassroots football clubs across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland which have come together to develop a support network for BAME football clubs and their players.

The aim of the forum is to promote, support and encourage the development and progression of BAME football clubs locally and ensure the needs of the BAME football community are met.

Ivan Liburd, BFF chair, said:

“In recent weeks, there have been a number of high-profile racist cases highlighted in the media from the top tier of professional football all the way to grassroots. This is concerning for local BAME clubs as similar abuse continues to take place at a grassroots level.

“We created the forum not only to be a critical friend to football authorities, but to provide a stronger voice in the agenda for change.

“The forum accepts the challenge of becoming the self-appointed central point for all discussions around BAME football locally and intends to work closely with those that make decisions which affect the football community.”