The dearth of British Asians in football cannot be characterized by just”one or 2 issues”, with several paths needing to be explored, according to the Tackling Racism panel.
Despite there now being 3,700 professional soccer players in the English sport, just 11 are out of a British Asian heritage, creating up for just 0.3 percent of the full total.
“These items never have one or two causes, it is never just a scarcity of role models or ethnic elements,” The Independent’s main sports writer Jonathan Liew said.
“We have been speaking about this problem for the past 20 to 30 years therefore it has to go deeper than that – it must be structural reasons, social reasons and representation in most walks of life.
“When folks talk about British Asians not being reflected in football it’s these issues across the board from grassroots to colleges, scouting, clubs, academies as well as institutional.”
Sports journalist and presenter Reshmin Chowdhury considers the lack of character models plays a huge part in the problem with the idea’you can not be what you can’t see’ essential in helping create a pathway for youngsters.
“If you would like to aspire to become something, you need to feel like there’s a genuine path to perform it,” Chowdhury said.
“Those kind of role models are so important, just to have someone there who looks like you or gets the identical history makes this a difference because it’s possible to link with that person before understanding them.
“I did not have one important part model to aspire to – all my role models were white guys, although the women I didn’t relate to because we did not have similar backgrounds – other than we were girls who loved sport.
“There wasn’t a single relevant role model for me, but thankfully that is changing.”
Charlton Athletic Women’s manager Riteesh Mishra, who is also a part of the Asian Inclusion Plan of the FA, does think there are opportunities out there – but minorities have to work harder to them.
“It is difficult because you don’t necessarily see someone who looks like you or comes from the exact identical background as possible ,” Mishra said.
“There are chances that are created but perhaps if you’re an ethic minority you have to, sadly, be prepared to go above and beyond to level the playing field on your own.
“You have to volunteer for quite a while and build experience in different approaches and then there’s more emphasis on you to consider the chances when they come.”
But, Colchester United’s manager pf Performance Jon De Souza refuted claims there was institutionalised racism in football – in scouting gamers.
“I’d disagree with this, the largest driver and dread for most scouts is missing out about gamers,” De Souza stated.
“Most scouts are petrified at missing out to the one that might go to another club and be prosperous.
“I think most clubs seem in every area possible within their catchment area to get the best players.
“Having worked at Luton, Brentford and now Colchester we surely looked for gamers at every possible area and we Are Extremely keen to find the best potential players
“No-one would love to run the risk of passing up a key player irrespective of their ethnicity.”
Watch the’Tackling Racism’ show on Sky Sports News and Sky Sports Main Event on Saturdays at 9pm.
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