Two young people involved with FURD had major roles in a feature about racism in football broadcast on BBC 1Xtra on Sunday 16th December. The hour-long programme, Football v Racism, was presented by Trevor Nelson and can be heard at the link below until Sunday 23rd December.
Akash, 19, and Mohamed, 18, play for one of the Sunday League teams supported by FURD as well as doing voluntary coaching and administration work.
During the programme, they visited the U-Mix Centre and went to the home of Clarke Carlisle, chairman of the Professional Footballers Association, to discuss the issues. Young footballers from London were also featured in the programme.
The programme stated that 144 cases of alleged racism have been reported to the FA so far this season alone.
The show found that many young people are still experiencing racism in football and that it is more widespread in grassroots football than at the higher levels. Many incidents are still not being reported due to a belief that they will not be dealt with satisfactorily, along with some confusion about what the reporting procedures are. While some of the young players said they have reported incidents, others felt there was no point, instead expressing pride in how they rise above attempts by opponents or spectators to use racism to wind them up.
Jason Roberts, Brendon Batson and Les Ferdinand also took part in the show and a common view was that current sanctions being applied are not harsh enough to act as a proper deterrent.
The show concluded that racism is still a problem, sanctions should be harsher and applied more consistently, and there should be a more easily understood, widely publicised and effective system for reporting and investigating incidents.