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Exclusive: racial hatred in London football - abuse directed at more than 40 players

More than 40 current footballers playing around the capital have told ITV News London they have been racially abused during their career.

The survey reveals players have suffered racial hatred from the Premier League down to the grassroots.

  • 62% of that occurred on the pitch with 38% on social media
  • 63% of players told us they hadn't reported the abuse they had suffered
  • 57% believe it is not taken seriously by football’s authorities
Nedum Onuoha, QPR captain Credit: ITV News

QPR captain Nedum Onuoha says he has been the victim of racial hatred six times during his career, including twice whilst he was on international duty with England under 21's.

He told ITV News London he was abused once whilst playing away against Montenegro.

We finished the game and I remember going down through the tunnel with Joe Hart to do a cool down and as we were coming back I heard monkey noises, so I turned around and there were ten armed security guards or police guards who were doing it.

As I turned around, they rallied together again and started staring at me. I wanted to defend myself but as they were armed I just decided to walk on.

– Nedum Onuoha, QPR captain

He was also abused in Serbia.

I was playing and I heard monkey chant noises and turned around, and 100, 200, 300 fans were chanting and there was an announcement in the stadium to try and calm it down but that really shocked me.

When I first hear something, it's the shock then unfortunately when I've gone to look at it further, it becomes almost threatening.

– Nedum Onuoha, QPR captain

Ebbsfleet United striker Aaron McLean told us he’s also been abused at matches since he started out.

Aaron McLean, Ebbsfleet United Credit: ITV News

I was playing away and when I was walking back into the tunnel, a young lad who must have been 10 or 11-years-old was calling me a monkey, which is disgusting. His parents were with him.

– Aaron McLean, Ebbsfleet United

Teammate Nathan Ashmore claims he’s the victim of racial hatred at nearly every match, and has even had coins and food thrown at him.

Nathan Ashmore, Ebbsfleet United Credit: ITV News

I'll get called Pineapple Head every game, that's standard. I couldn't count how many times I've been abused over my whole career.

The worst ones, I've been called a monkey, monkey chants, I've even had stuff thrown at me, I've had stuff like black ****, I've been called a golliwog a few times, and anything to do with my colour.

– Nathan Ashmore, Ebbsfleet United

Ashmore, believes players should be given more support.

Personally I don't think they do enough, they might think they do, but more help is needed, especially in non league football because that’s where I think most of it happens because it doesn't get reported enough and there aren't many cameras, unlike in the Premier League.

– Nathan Ashmore, Ebbsfleet United

FA inclusion advisory board chairman Paul Elliott says racism is taken seriously.

I have to say to every player out there, you have to report it. There is a process there, it is a robust process.

The process is always looking to improve itself and get better in terms of communication, but there is a process in place.

– Paul Elliott, FA inclusion advisory board chairman

Watch Amy's report in full below