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Kick It Out admits Anton Ferdinand didn’t get proper support

Wednesday02 December 2020 | 6:50
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The organization works to challenge discrimination has accepted “communication breakdowns” the case following Anton Ferdinand’s BBC document that aired on Monday, but insists the bigger issue is its lack of capacity to deal with the flood of complaints it receives.

Previously,

the FA

said

BBC

’s documentary involves “substantial and serious inaccuracies” from Kick It Out’s head of development

Troy Townsend

, as he told

Ferdinand

that his organization was unable to speak to victims during an investigation.

Kick It Out’s

executive chair

Sanjay Bhandari

agreeing with the FA said:

“The FA are correct that there is an agreed protocol enabling Kick It Out to provide such support.

“Understandably, this includes provisions designed to preserve the integrity of evidence and thus maximise the prospects of a fair conclusion to the case.

“Due to communication breakdowns at our end, this has not been clearly understood at all times. Going forward, we are completely clear on that.”

Bhandari insists that in his view, there was a much bigger issue to be concerned about.

“We only have the capacity to support five to six players or grassroots participants per year. We receive over 500 complaints per year and we know that this is the tip of the iceberg.

“We need to find scalable solutions to this problem. In the professional game, the primary welfare duty is on clubs as the employers.

“We would also urge any player to take advantage of the counselling and support services offered by the PFA and to use their support during an investigation. We need to find solutions for the scores of weekly victims at grassroots level where hate appears endemic.”

Addressing the documentary, Bhandari said:

“The abiding feeling I was left with was one of profound sadness. Sadness at the visible and deep impact that the incident had on Anton and his family.

“And sadness that, as a game, collectively, we let him down. I hope that the process of creating the documentary helps Anton to reach closure on this painful episode in his life.”

Although

Terry

was banned for four matches and fined £220,000 following the case, Ferdinand said he

“didn’t feel like the victim”

when he was being interviewed by FA investigators.

The FA responded to his comment in an statement:

“We fully respect Anton Ferdinand’s recollection of the investigation and are saddened by his feelings during what was undoubtedly a difficult time for him.

“Notwithstanding the fact that the criminal case was unsuccessful, our regulatory team expeditiously progressed the disciplinary action both before and after the criminal case, which had to take priority.

“Believing in the case against John Terry, they worked tirelessly to ensure the case put before the disciplinary panel was robust, having appropriately recorded and challenged all relevant witness evidence, which ultimately resulted in a successful prosecution before an FA disciplinary panel.

“Early in the process, we also removed John Terry as England captain due to the seriousness of the allegations. It showed him no favouritism and made clear how serious the allegations were taken.”


source: SportMob