A survey, aimed at gathering data on ethnicity and discrimination in Manx football has been launched by Isle of Man FA.
The move follows an approach to the IOMFA by local player Furo Davies, along with the
People of Colour Isle of Man group, who brought their thoughts and experiences to a board meeting in early December.
Called the ‘Isle of Man Football Association Diversity and Inclusion Survey’, it gives everyone involved in the local game – regardless of ethnicity – the opportunity to share their experiences and marks a first step in the Isle of Man FA’s renewed drive to ensure the game is inclusive to all and a welcoming and safe environment, with the longer-term goal to form a more far reaching inclusion and diversity strategy.
Speaking of his own experience of discrimination, Furo said: ‘I have been part of Manx football for over 15 years and it’s been an amazing experience both in terms of football and the friends I have made through it. However, there have been times where I have had to face discrimination in various forms.
‘Having had an unpleasant experience of reporting an incident when I was 18, I have always thought to myself that I would handle any abuse or discrimination myself. I had little confidence in reporting racial abuse to the IOMFA and understood that other ethnic minority players felt the same way too.
‘This led to approaching the IOMFA to discuss such concerns. Since discussions have started there has been a great deal of understanding and passion to improve confidence and inclusion and we all agree that a survey is a good starting point to highlight potential issues. I look forward to working with them to ensure a safe and inclusive environment for all races and ethnicities.’
The survey will be live for four weeks, after which responses will be analysed. The results will inform an action plan, which will potentially encompass awareness, safeguarding, procedures and revision of guidelines for clubs and coaches.
Chair of the board of the Isle of Man Football Association, Stephen Carter, said: ‘The Isle of Man Football Association is, and always has been, committed to promoting the message that football is for all. Through this survey we are looking to gather both quantitative and experiential data, which will help us understand the true picture.’
The survey can be found here.