Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Ouseley: Little morality in football

Lord Herman Ouseley, left, believes 'there is very little morality in football among the top clubs'
Lord Herman Ouseley, left, believes 'there is very little morality in football among the top clubs'

Kick It Out chairman Lord Herman Ouseley has accused the Football Association, the Premier League, Chelsea and Liverpool of a failure of "morality and leadership" over their handling of the racism incidents involving John Terry and Luis Suarez.

Lord Ouseley said Chelsea and Liverpool protected their players because they were "assets", even when they were alleged, and then proven, to have racially abused opponents.

"There is very little morality in football among the top clubs," Ouseley told The Guardian. "Leadership is so important; you have to send a powerful message that racism is completely unacceptable. But there is a moral vacuum."

He added: "The big clubs look after their players as assets. There was no bold attitude from them, to say that they would not put up with it."

Ouseley believes football's authorities should have made strong statements of disapproval after Suarez and Terry were found guilty of abusing Patrice Evra and Anton Ferdinand respectively, but added: "The condemnations have been mealy-mouthed.

"We want all players and fans to feel confident about reporting abuse. But the FA did not say anything about the lies and distortions which came out in John Terry's and Ashley Cole's evidence. Instead the players are protected.

"The Premier League could have set the tone; they and the FA do a good job in community work. But on this, I have not heard anything from the Premier League."

Ouseley also criticised former Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish and then Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas for supporting their players while their cases were being played out.

"We were observing the process but the managers were speaking out and sticking up for Luis Suarez and John Terry," Ouseley added.

"The FA should have asserted themselves, but the FA were very slack and weak."

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