Queens Park Rangers

Queens Park Rangers

15th Championship | 4-5-5
  • Goals For
    12th
    16 GF
  • Assists
    14th
    7 A
  • Shots
    18th
    105 Shots
  • Saves
    4th
    40 SAV
  • Football Association in angry dispute with Kick It Out after Anton Ferdinand documentary
    The Telegraph

    Football Association in angry dispute with Kick It Out after Anton Ferdinand documentary

    The Football Association and Kick It Out were at loggerheads on Monday night after the governing body angrily rejected a senior campaigner's claim that the game pays "lip service" to race rows like the John Terry furore in 2011. In a BBC documentary, Anton Ferdinand explained "how alone I was" within the game in 2011 after the then Chelsea and England captain was captured on camera appearing to say the words "f***** black c***". Troy Townsend, of Kick It Out, was among figures in the game to express regret as Ferdinand described his turmoil at coming under subsequent attack before Terry, now assistant head coach at Villa, was cleared in court of racist abuse. Terry was subsequently banned for four matches and fined £220,000 following an FA disciplinary hearing, but Townsend said "it pains me" to hear Ferdinand tell him he did not receive the support he needed. The campaigner added that football's rules were "hanging the victim out to dry until the end of an investigation". Townsend then added "the game has never protected the victim" and that "when an incident happens I'm not supposed to talk to you". However, in a statement sent out afterwards, the governing body said it was "very concerned that substantial and serious inaccuracies" had been made. "We can confirm that there are no rules or inferences in the relationship which prevent Kick It Out from contacting victims of discrimination," The FA said. "On the contrary, The FA’s written policy is to actively encourage the involvement of Kick It Out so that they can support victims of discrimination during and after The FA’s disciplinary process. Kick It Out has been present and provided support to players involved in discrimination investigations in the past and would be encouraged to continue to play this role going forward also. In alleging that an individual at Kick It Out fears losing their job if they criticise footballing authorities, this is simply without foundation." The FA also stood by its investigation into Terry, saying they showed the player "no favouritism". Townsend declined to comment further when contacted by Telegraph Sport. Anton Ferdinand exclusive interview: 'I loved playing but hated what football stood for' Ferdinand had been close to tears during the documentary as he read a 2011 comment from Kick It Out, which criticised him for not making a public statement. "I still carry that feeling of letting people down," he psychotherapist Dee Albert. "That eats away at me more than anything." Campaigners said the documentary illustrated the need for the Government to consider an independent regulator to adjudicate football abuse cases. One answer, they suggest, is to introduce a "GMC-style" regulator to oversee misconduct investigations. Ged Grebby, chief executive of Show Racism the Red Card, and Piara Powar, the executive director of European football's equality body Fare, suggested the Government should now be considering whether regulation of racism incidents should be carried out by new independent bodies instead of the FA. "These things have to be looked at," said Grebby. Ministers told MPs last week that a pre-election promise of fan-led review of football governance had now begun. Grebby says the review must consider football's safeguards against abuse. "I remember being called in by David Cameron to discuss this and we've had several Prime Ministers since and things don't seem to change," he said. "Our industry doesn't work like most. The water regulator shouldn't be controlled by the water companies, for instance." Powar also said there is still "a question mark there" around the process that follows an allegation of abuse between players. "It's something that the the FA internally should intellectually, and in terms of good governance, be looking at consistently," he said. "Can we (the FA) effectively regulate the game at the highest level, knowing that it's free of interference or influence of professional football? The whole FA business model is around matches at Wembley and sponsorship of the England team." In the documentary, Ferdinand says "I beat myself up about not speaking out" in the immediate aftermath of the incident. Having spoken out for the first time, Ferdinand says he wants to make "positive change" for the next generation. He credits Watford defender Renee Hector, who was racially abused by Sheffield United's Sophie Jones during a Women's Championship match, as an inspiration. However, reflecting on the documentary, campaigners said racism in football is just as bad as it was in 2011. "I don't think we've seen the progress - football is not isolated from society and society has got a growing problem," Grebby added. The last time Ferdinand and Terry spoke was in the changing room at Loftus Road after the clash during QPR's 1-0 win over Chelsea in 2011. Terry did not respond to a message the 35-year-old sent him during the filming on Anton Ferdinand: Football Racism and Me. The case dominated English football for months. In October 2011, the pair were involved in a spat during a 1-0 win for Ferdinand's Queens Park Rangers. Television cameras picked up Terry appearing to use racially abusive language as he walked away from an argument. The FA added: "No player, or any other participant who is the victim of abuse of any kind, should feel that they are not able to access the support that they need. We strongly condemn all forms of discrimination and we take all complaints seriously. As English football’s governing body, we have a responsibility and a duty to investigate all incidents and allegations that we are made aware of."