Just ahead of the FIFA conference on racism in
football, the Football Association has confessed that it could have done more
to combat the racism black football players faced as they sought to make their
mark in the game over the past few decades.
While the wrongs done to players of colour
in the past cannot be undone, this public confession carries great promise for
The Football Association deserves
commendation for its forthrightness in admitting its errors. Long known
for its obduracy in refusing to admit mistakes, the Football Association will
find that confession of error--always the first step in putting things
right--not only serves the game well but serves the F.A. well as an organisation. Its confession of error sets a standard for football
organisations around the world and establishes the F.A. as a leader in
combating racism in the game. Regrettably, the English football media
have, with few exceptions, ignored this important step.
Much remains to be done in the fight against
racism in football, of course, but the F.A. has now served notice that it has
taken off its blinders and will take a leading role in that struggle. We
shall now look to the F.A. to brings its not inconsiderable resources to
bear in the good fight.