FIFA President pledges to 'Kick it Out'
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A stellar cast of senior representatives from across English football came together at Wembley Stadium this afternoon for a football conference dedicated to tackling racism and discrimination.

Following a football season that was at times overshadowed in England by different on and off-field incidents, FIFA and Kick it Out invited different stakeholders from English football to cement a new working relationship.

Kick it Out will celebrate its 20th anniversary next year, and its Chairman, Lord Herman Ouseley told the 150 gathered guests: "Abuse on the football field goes on all the time. Most of the time it is driven by ignorance, hatred and bigotry.

"Football Authorities have worked tirelessly over the past two decades, and those in charge, both domestically and globally, have the power to make a change; there is still much to be done if we are to eradicate racism and other forms of racism from our game."

The FIFA President Joseph S.Blatter was next to the stage, and immediately pledged a desire to adopt the 'Kick it Out' slogan, to be implemented across the world.

Kick it Out are dedicated to addressing all forms of discrimination, exclusion and inequalities as they affect people, whatever their background and circumstances.

FIFA's President praised the work of Lord Ouseley and his team, particularly its grassroots education work.

We want to see people treated fairly irrespective of their religion, culture or colour.
FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter

"There is racism and discrimination in our game, and this is wrong" said Blatter. "We want to work alongside Lord Ouseley and his team to teach people that discipline, fair play and respect should be not only on the field where there is a referee, but in everyday life too. We want to see people treated fairly irrespective of their religion, culture or colour."

Heather Rabbatts is the first ever female Board member of The FA, and gave an insight into some of the challenges that had driven her on to the upper echelons of English football.

"I was born outside of the UK and was brought up here. I faced many challenges growing up" she said. "Football is a global game, and touches millions of people worldwide. I have no doubt that if the football family works together to fight this issue, we can win. There is more that unites us, than divides us."

The final words of the evening went to FA Chairman David Bernstein. Addressing the myriad of different social inclusion and anti-discrimination organisations in the room, as well as the onlooking Chief Executives of the League Managers Association and Professional Football Association, he added: "I know how much from the heart President Blatter speaks on this issue. Anti-discrimination for example is enshrined in FIFA's Statutes.

"If last season showed us anything, it is that we cannot become complacent. Social media too has provided a platform for discriminatory abuse, and the football authorities, as well as law enforcement agencies should strive to punish offenders.

"It is a privilege to play football, and with privilege comes responsibility. Players have a social responsibility as role models, and I want to use this opportunity to remind everyone of the role they have to play."