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Calendar of racist incidents/anti-racist initiatives
United Kingdom 1990-2000
This is an incomplete log of football-related racist incidents concerning British clubs or players between 1990 and 2000, and milestones in the campaign against racism in football. This log forms part of the report 'Don't Close Your Eyes: Racist and Antiracist Episodes in the Sports World' produced by FARE (Football Against Racism in Europe) which lists incidents around Europe. Contact FURD if you would like to see a copy. More recent incidents are logged on the Racist Incidents page of the FURD website.


The 200-strong football fanzine movement in England, which is predominantly non-racist, has served to challenge hooligan and racist cultures around the English game. Some fanzines, eg. 'Marching Altogether' (Leeds) and ‘When You’re Smiling’ (Leicester) have anti-racism as their organising principle.

June 1993 Foxboro, Massachusetts:

USA v England. Paul Ince becomes the first black player to captain England.

August 1993 London:

The Commission for Racial Equality (CRE), and the Professional Footballers Association (PFA), along with the Football Trust launch the 'Lets Kick Racism Out of Football' campaign. By 1995 all but one of the professional clubs in England and Wales have publicly endorsed the campaign.

August 1994 UK:

110,000 free copies of ‘United Colours of Football’ fanzine, produced by Football Supporters’ Association (FSA) distributed, mainly by club-based fanzines.

October 1994 London:

Premier production of Arc Theatre Ensemble’s ‘Kicking Out’, about racism in football (first of a trilogy of plays)

February 1995 Dublin:

At the 'friendly' international match at Lansdowne Road between the Republic of Ireland and England, vandalism by English fans, and skirmishes between rival fans, caused the game to be abandoned. The presence of far right English extremists, and of anti republican chanting and racist literature was clearly evident.

April 1996 Sheffield:

‘Football Unites, Racism Divides’ project launched.

May 1996 Newcastle:

Launch of the first ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ video.

March 1997 Wales:

Nathan Blake refuses to play for Wales after accusing Bobby Gould of racist remarks in training.

October 1997 Bolton:

Bolton v Chelsea in Premiership. A group of Bolton fans chant ‘Nigger’ as Ruud Gullit as warms up as substitute.

October 1997 Highbury, London:

Launch of new national organisation, ‘Kick It Out’, funded by Football Association, Premier League, CRE, PFA and Football Trust.

November 1997 Bucharest:

Dwight Yorke is racially abused throughout Aston Villa's UEFA Cup game in Bucharest.

November 1997 Chester:

Chester City ordered to pay £2,500 damages following manager Kevin Ratcliffe racially insulting a junior Chester player in training.

February 1998 Leicester:

Leicester City v Leeds United in Premiership. Racist chanting abusing Leicester Asian community by large numbers of Leeds fans.

March 1998 London:

Government Football Task Force report ‘Eliminating Racism from Football’ released.

September 1998 Stockholm:

Sweden v England EURO 2000 qualifier. English FA fined £20,000 following racist abuse of Sweden’s Henrik Larsson by England supporters.

October 1998 Sheffield:

Launch of ‘The First Black Footballer, Arthur Wharton 1865-1930’ book.

February 1999 London:

Leeds supporters chant anti-Semitic songs at Tottenham Hotspur fans.

February 1999 Sunderland:

Sunderland v Leicester City League Cup semi-final. Thousands of Sunderland fans chant ‘You’re just a town full of Pakis’ at adjacent Leicester fans.

June 1999 Glasgow:

Rangers Vice Chairman Donald Findlay leads Rangers players and hundreds of fans through a medley of bigoted sectarian songs.

October 1999 Florence:

Fiorentina v Manchester United. Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole racially abused throughout Champions League game.

October 1999 Coventry:

Coventry City v Newcastle United in Premiership. Coventry’s Youssef Chippo racially abused by large numbers of Newcastle fans.

December 1999 Glasgow:

Rangers captain Lorenzo Amoruso caught on television mouthing ‘black bastard’ at Nigerian Victor Ikpeba during a UEFA cup tie between Rangers and Borussia Dortmund.

January 2000 Leeds:

Leeds United players Lee Bowyer and Jonathan Woodgate arrested following street attack on Asian student in Leeds city centre.

March 2000 Liverpool:

Emile Heskey signs for Liverpool after rejecting a possible transfer to Leeds United, partly influenced by racist abuse he’d received from Leeds fans whilst playing for Leicester City.

March 2000 Leeds:

Leeds United chairman Peter Ridsdale admitted that there had an increase in racist behaviour by some fans since the two Leeds United players were charged with attacking an Asian student in Leeds.

March 2000 London:

Nationwide League Division Three Chairmen’s representative, Barry Hearn, attacks ‘immigrants’ on national radio.

April 2000 Liverpool:

Everton fans racially abused and made gestures intimating throats being cut to Leicester's Muzzy Izzet at Filbert street, following deaths of two Leeds fans in Istanbul.

April 2000 Leeds:

Asians attacked outside stadium before UEFA cup semi-final against Galatasary.

Throughout much of the Nationwide Football League and the Conference racial abuse has continued largely unabated. In recent years, there have been reports of racial chanting and the individual abuse of black players at grounds as geographically distinct as Cardiff City and Hull City. Despite its glossy image, the Premiership has not escaped the spectre of racism in recent seasons. In addition to racism from supporters there have been a number of televised instances of player-to-player racist abuse, the most notorious involving Ian Wright/Peter Schmeichel and Stan Collymore/Steve Harkness.
Holmes, Howard Football Unites, Racism Divides 12 May 2000

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