discrimination in football


Football is our National Game and everyone should have the opportunity to participate and spectate within a safe and enjoyable environment. We have seen the number of players increasing in our County , especially within our female and disability pathway, but sadly we have witnessed an increase in discrimination and homophobia cases.

Durham County FA want to ensure everyone who wishes to engage in organised football is able to do so without facing any kind of discrimination whether as a player, coach, official, referee or spectator. The ‘Tackling Discrimination in Football’ Conference has been jointly organised through partnership with Durham County FA, Show Racism the Red Card, Her Game Too and Northumbria Police.

The Aim of the conference is to provide Education and raise Awareness as Safeguarding is firmly embedded into our grassroots youth clubs and with further Safeguarding requirements being implemented into Open Age Adult football, we want anti-discrimination and homophobia policies and messages to have a similar impact.

Tackling Discrimination in Football Conference

Date: Thursday 12th October 2023

Time:  18.30pm – 20.30pm followed by hot buffet

Venue: Durham County Cricket Ground, Cathedral Suite, Chester le Street, DH3 3QR – Free parking.

The Conference will include speakers from; Durham County FA, Northumbria Police, Show Racism the Red Card and Her Game Too.

Durham County FA Chief executive, John Topping commented “This conference is a significant milestone and will be used as a spring- board to help raise education and awareness regarding Discrimination and Homophobia by using the knowledge and expertise of our partners, we will create a Leaning and Development Plan to educate our members throughout the whole of our County”.

Richard Offiong, Show Racism the Red Card Education lead- This conference is a great opportunity to highlight the importance of anti-racism and anti-discrimination issues faced by so many not only across North East grassroots football but the region in general. The alliance between ourselves and Durham County Football Association provides the perfect opportunity to send a uniform message that racism and discrimination is unacceptable. "Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world".

Northumbria Police“Working in partnership with Durham County FA to tackle discrimination both in football and society in general is a fantastic opportunity for Northumbria Police to send out a very strong and clear message that we do not tolerate Hate crime of any kind within our communities and that discrimination has no place in society. We hope this conference sends out a very strong and important message to victims, perpetrators and the wider community that if an individual is abused because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, gender-identity or disability that this is a criminal offence. We all have a role to play in reporting hate crimes, to ensure those offenders are rightly brought to justice. We are passionate about stamping out discrimination which is why we’re supporting Durham County FA in this very important initiative.”

Jill Simmonds – Her Game Too Ambassador for Hartlepool United  “At HerGameToo, we are a group of female supporters who are passionate about football and working to eradicate sexism and misogyny in the football industry. We want women and girls of all ages to feel confident and safe taking part in or sharing their opinion about football without fear of sexist abuse. We are grateful to have been invited along to take part in the Durham County FA’s conference on ‘Tackling Discrimination in Football’. It is a fantastic opportunity to introduce ourselves to the wider area and to showcase the work the campaign has already achieved both locally and nationally. We will be working closely with Durham County FA to ensure a safe environment for women and girls within football whether its players, coaches, officials or supporters.”

The outcome of the conference will be to look how we can work with clubs and leagues to get the key messages across within our seven local authorities to eradicate discrimination within football and society.