Premier League, EFL and FA accused of 'hypocrisy' over New Zealand terror attacks

Yahoo Sport UK

English football has been accused of ‘double standards’ following the terror attack in New Zealand which saw at least 50 people killed.

Although tributes were paid before kick-off at Six Nations and rugby league matches this weekend, the same did not happen across the top four tiers of football or in the FA Cup.

And the Premier League, English Football League and the Football Association have all been labelled ‘hypocrites’ for not committing to a similar act, according to former FA race equality board chair Yunus Lunat.

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He added the lack of tribute was in stark contrast to the bodies responses to the Paris and Nice attacks.

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Lunat told BBC Sport: “There is no excuse, whenever something has happened, not even on the same scale, football has always come out and paid tribute.

“It is double standards and hypocrisy. To hold a minute’s silence was the right thing to do. When it happens for the events, it has to happen across the board for every attack.”

After terrorism attacks in 2015 and 2016 top flight clubs wore black bands, while Wembley was transformed to show support for France.

Outgoing Premier League CEO Richard Scudamore said at the time they represented ‘solidarity and remembrance’.

This time around, the Premier League tweeted a message of support on Friday morning that their thoughts ‘were with those affected by the terrible events in New Zealand.’

Fulham hosted a minute’s silence before their eventual 2-1 defeat to Liverpool, but that was in memory of an employee who passed away in February.

The FA, regarding those matches in the FA Cup, said the onus was on clubs to hold a silence, adding: “We would support them if they did.”

Wembley’s response to the terror attacks in Nice, 2016
Wembley’s response to the terror attacks in Nice, 2016

Lunat added to the BBC: “The reason this happens is because there are a lack of role models and senior ethnic executives that can identify this sort of thing.

“There is a lack of Muslims in leadership roles in sport, particularly football, despite those applying being competent enough for roles.

“The FA Cup is the FA’s competition. It shows a lack of leadership and it is a cop out.

“This was a missed opportunity to make a huge statement about what is happening around the world.

“This was a perfect opportunity for the chance to stand up and be counted. Fulham had a tribute but it could not be extended to what happened in New Zealand.”

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