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Raheem Sterling: Racism "nowhere near being sorted"

Sterling: Racism
© Reuters
The Manchester City forward has detailed the measures he would like to see implemented to tackle the issue.

Raheem Sterling has described football's racism problem as "deep" and "nowhere near being sorted", and believes the organisations that run the game are not doing nearly enough to try to fix it.

The Manchester City forward has become a figurehead in the fight against racism having experienced abuse on the pitch, most recently cupping his hands to his ears in response to chants from Montenegro fans while playing for England last month.

Sterling is one of the signatories to a manifesto launched by The Times calling for more black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people in positions of power, harsher punishments for racist abuse, and actions from social media companies, the media and sponsors.

Raheem Sterling has become the leading voice in the fight against racism in football
Raheem Sterling has become a leading voice in the fight against racism in football (Martin Rickett/PA)

Writing in the newspaper, Sterling said: "When I was a boy growing up in London, going to school and playing football, I didn't know what racist abuse was because I never suffered any.

"So it seems crazy that, in 2019, I feel the need to write a piece in a newspaper calling for radical changes to the game that I love. But I do because the racism problem in football is so bad, runs so deep and is nowhere near being sorted.

"You will all have read about the various high-profile racist incidents in recent months: the abuse I received playing for Manchester City away to Chelsea; the booing that the black England players were subjected to in Montenegro; the nastiness that Moise Kean of Juventus endured in Italy and the endless insults thrown at players on social media.

"But that is sadly just the tip of the iceberg. Up and down the game, across the world, black and Asian players, fans and coaches are subjected to racism. Every day, from park football to the Champions League.

"In my opinion, the people who run the game are doing nowhere near enough to solve the problem. And that's not good enough."

Sterling would like the percentage of BAME coaches and administrators to mirror that of players in the game, while he feels punishment for racist abuse should be an automatic nine-point deduction for clubs and three games behind closed doors rather than the current starting point of a fine.

He said: "It sounds harsh, but which fan will risk racist behaviour if it might relegate their team or ruin their title bid?

"Small fines do no damage to clubs and countries, but one group of people who do have the money to make them take notice are sponsors. The next time that a club or governing body fails to act appropriately against racism, I would love to see that company pull its money out and make a moral stand.

"I don't know how long it will take for things to change but we have to start now. I don't want the next generation of black players to have to put up with this evil."


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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City38322495237298
2Liverpool38307189226797
3Chelsea38219863392472
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs382321367392871
5Arsenal382171073512270
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd381991065541166
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38169134746157
8Everton38159145446854
9Leicester CityLeicester38157165148352
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham38157165255-352
11Watford38148165259-750
12Crystal Palace38147175153-249
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle38129174248-645
14Bournemouth38136195670-1445
15Burnley38117204568-2340
16Southampton38912174565-2039
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3899203560-2536
RCardiff CityCardiff38104243469-3534
RFulham3875263481-4726
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3837282276-5416

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