Prince William ‘deeply concerned’ after ‘racist abuse’ of children during football matches | UK News

In a letter from Sky News, the King confirmed he had been in contact with the FA about the allegations, saying “racism and abuse have no place in our society”.

From Shingi Mararike, Northern England Correspondent, and Shakir Ahmed Daji, Specialty Producer

Saturday March 18, 2023 9:22 p.m. UK

Prince William has written to a grassroots football club condemning the racism faced by its players and coaches.

The heir to the thronewho is president of the Football Association said he was “deeply concerned” by their experiences and that those involved “need to be held accountable”.

Bradford-based Alpha United Juniors first spoke out in November, revealing that players as young as seven have been subjected to abuse and even threats of violence from the touchline for years.

In the letter, seen by Sky News and sent on his behalf by a private secretary, Prince William confirmed he had contacted the FA about the allegations.

“Racism and abuse have no place in our society,” he wrote.

“Disgusting behavior of this kind must stop now and all those responsible must be held accountable.”

Players as young as seven were on the receiving end of insults

Alpha United chairman Mohammed Waheed wrote to Kensington Palace in January claiming he had contacted the FA on a number of occasions.

The Prince replied to his letter last month, with Mr Waheed deciding to go public because he was unhappy with West Riding FA’s investigation process.

He also revealed he had been contacted “from about 40 clubs” across the country since speaking to Sky News.

A West Riding FA spokesman said: “We strongly condemn all forms of discrimination and will always do our utmost to hold perpetrators accountable.

“In order for us to collect evidence, bring charges and impose sanctions on perpetrators, we need witnesses to participate in our trial. Despite our best efforts, the club did not support this process.”

West Riding FA also say it is investigating examples of racism reported by the club.

However, Alpha United Juniors denies this, arguing that they have provided the evidence needed for the investigation and that there are awkward parts of the process that could jeopardize their players’ anonymity.

The pressure on the FA comes not only from Kensington Palace but also from Westminster.

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Prince William is “deeply concerned” by allegations of racism at a grassroots football club

Bradford West MP Naz Shah wrote to FA Chair Debbie Hewitt asking her to investigate the issue immediately.

Ms Shah told Sky News: “They have one child who is called the P-word and another the black B-word and other names, that’s not okay for anyone in society, there’s no place for racism.

“We have made commitments to show racism the red card, where are those commitments when it comes to grassroots football?”

Ms Shah also disputes West Riding FA’s claim that Alpha Juniors failed to comply with its investigative process.

She says when she wrote on the body she accepted that evidence of racism had been presented to her by the club.

“It’s a contradiction,” she said. “You’ve seen the racist footage, why can’t you investigate?

MP Naz Shah has written to FA Chair Debbie Hewitt on the issue

Another voice calling for change is Mickey Ambrose, a former footballer who is co-chairman of the People’s FA, a campaign to reform the football association.

He says more diversity in leadership positions on the governing body will help stamp out racism at all levels.

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“There’s no diversity, it’s jobs for the boys,” Mr Ambrose said. “In a place like Bradford, there’s no chance that issues like this will be resolved quickly.

“We need an open democratic FA and one that falls under the Freedom of Information Act.”

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