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Lee Hoos: Governing bodies not taking racism seriously

QPR CEO Lee Hoos has blasted FIFA and UEFA’s handling of the governing bodies’ investigation into our Under 18s players being racially abused almost three months ago.

Our youngsters’ pre-season fixture with AD Nervion FC on 8th August was abandoned owing to abuse from opposition players.

An initial complaint was made to FIFA by QPR on 15th August before individual statements were submitted on 23rd August.

UEFA contacted the club to claim the matter fell outside their jurisdiction and was an issue for FIFA.

FIFA took seven weeks to confirm receipt of the club’s communication before passing the matter back to UEFA on 9th October.

Following Tuesday’s announcement that Bulgaria will play two matches behind closed doors, one suspended for two years, and fined £64,640 over the racist behaviour of fans during the European Qualifier against England on 14th October, Hoos said: “UEFA have dealt with this one issue of blatant racism but both FIFA and UEFA seem to treat complaints about racism like a complaint about a broken seat in a stadium.

“I am left confused, frustrated and incredibly angry that more than ten weeks after we lodged our complaint of racism, we are still awaiting a decision.

“Incredibly, despite the seriousness of this issue, it took seven weeks and the personal intervention of Greg Clarke – the chairman of the FA and vice-chairman of FIFA – to get a response from FIFA.

“Let’s not forget, the level of racism was so severe that it led to an Under 18s game being abandoned. Our players deserve better than that. PEOPLE deserve to be treated better than that.

“There were a substantial number of people within the game who warned me at the time that this issue would be swept under the carpet and I am appalled to see this appears to be the case.

“I am disgusted, embarrassed and dismayed to call them our governing bodies when they are incapable of governing.

“Football is a powerful medium for positive change and education. Its reputation needs to be safeguarded. Unfortunately, the people in FIFA and UEFA are just not up to that important task.

“The Andalusia Football Federation have allegedly been conducting an investigation which has been going on since September but that would seem to be nothing more than a sham.

“There have been repeated reports of racism in southern Spain and that is something that sporting clubs should be aware of before taking their teams there.”

QPR Director of Football Les Ferdinand added: “Yet again, FIFA and UEFA have failed to deal with this issue – and they haven’t just failed the players subjected to racist abuse, they have failed every BAME fan who wants to go and enjoy football.”

 

I am disgusted, embarrassed and dismayed to call them our governing bodies.

Lee Hoos
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