The EFL is committed to ensuring that football is inclusive of all communities and free from discrimination. We are dedicated to promoting equality on the grounds of any *protected characteristic as defined in the Equality Act 2010.
Everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect, and the EFL is committed to eliminating all forms of discrimination incorporating direct, indirect, associative or perceptive discrimination and all forms of bullying, harassment and victimisation.
Following government consultation, the football authorities’ commitment to promoting inclusion within the game led to the introduction of the Inclusion and Anti-Discrimination Action Plan. The plan led to regulatory commitment from the EFL and its member clubs to develop a Code of Practice. The Code of Practice sets out key areas all EFL clubs should look to address to ensure they are inclusive across all areas of their business.
The EFL has a reporting pathway to deal with any allegations of prejudice, ensuring that all individuals can raise their issue through the channels explained in this charter. On the receipt of any complaint, the EFL will investigate, if appropriate, with assistance from other football and statutory agencies, and make recommendations and/or change to procedures as necessary. While the EFL can consider and assess any reported issues, depending on the nature of any query or complaint it may be appropriate for clubs and/or other authorities to carry out further investigation. In such circumstances the EFL will provide advice and guidance on the appropriate channels for complaints or incidents to be addressed further.
The EFL also works closely with Kick it Out which provides a reporting service for discriminatory behaviour through its ‘kick it out app’. The free app provides users with the ability to confidentially report incidents they may see, hear or witness at a match. By attaching video, photo and audio evidence to complaints fans can help support investigations into discriminatory abuse and behaviour across football (for more please visit www.kickitout.org).
In June 2016 the EFL introduced ground-breaking new regulations aimed at tackling the under-representation of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) managers and coaches employed by clubs. The new regulations require clubs to formally advertise any position in their Academy that require the employee to hold a UEFA A or B licence. In addition, clubs are required to shortlist at least one suitably qualified BAME candidate for interview as part of a formal recruitment process. With regards first team football, eleven clubs have agreed to pilot similar requirements for positions in senior football during the 2016/17 season.
The EFL also promotes and supports work in relation to other research areas such as women and girls attendance, LGB&T (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) awareness, mental health awareness and other PFA and FA led campaigns.
* Protected Characteristics – Age, Sex (gender), Gender Reassignment, Disability, Race (ethnicity), Religion and beliefs, Marriage and civil partnerships, Maternity and Paternity.