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FA accused by lawyer of "institutional racism"

The Football Association has been accused of "institutional racism" for not referring alleged comments by referee Mark Clattenburg to the police, reports BBC Sport. Peter Herbert, chairman of the Society of Black Lawyers, believes the FA has not done enough to investigate a complaint against Clattenburg.

"We think the FA is institutionally racist," Herbert told BBC Radio 5 live.

But FA chairman David Bernstein responded by calling Herbert's comments "ill-informed and unhelpful".

The referee denies using "inappropriate language" towards two Chelsea players.

Herbert said: "What we're saying is that the FA has no hate-crime strategy. Now that, for anybody in the industry of dealing with criminal justice, means they've got no systematic way of dealing with hate-crime in sport.

"To give you an example, the penalties on John Terry and Luis Suarez were derisory.

"And then you have 104 incidents where players are sent off for racial abuse and not one of them is reported to the police, while you have 120,000 teams playing every weekend up and down the country.

"We think the FA is institutionally racist, has not got a handle on this issue, and its refusal to report this matter to the police looks like it is one of those football cover-ups, which is well-versed."

But FA chairman Bernstein dismissed Herbert's criticisms.

He said: "These ill-informed and unhelpful remarks are at odds with the progressive and responsible approach being followed by the game with the support of Government to deal with these serious issues.

"The FA will continue working to strengthen processes to eradicate all forms of discrimination in football."

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Dave Williams

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