While the general level of progress in combating racism and racist abuse in the UK is positive and should be applauded, there is much more that can and must be done, and we believe it is for the FA to take the lead and set the example for everyone, from football authorities at all levels to the grassroots groups, to follow.
We heard evidence that social media has become a tool for the spread of racist and abusive content, but it is also a potential means of combating the ignorance and prejudice that lie behind such behaviour.
We believe that the football authorities should be using this developing forum for communication and debate to spread positive messages about equality and diversity, and also to speak out strongly against instances of racist abuse when they occur.
The report on racism comes off the back of high-profile incidents involving John Terry and Luis Suarez last season, MPs have said.
Terry was cleared of racially abusing Ferdinand in court but the case is still under FA investigation.
The Chelsea captain could face a lengthy ban if found guilty at the FA hearing next week.
Liverpool will order Luis Suarez to shake hands with Manchester United rival Patrice Evra as the two clubs bid to defuse tensions before Sunday’s potentially explosive clash.
The teams meet at Anfield with memories of last season’s racism controversy between Suarez and Evra still fresh.
MPs have not recommended that the 'Rooney Rule' be adopted in their report.
This is the system used in the NFL - the biggest American football league - where shortlists for any head coach or senior management vacancy have to have at least one ethnic minority candidate.
The report says the Football Association must take the lead in the fight against racism in football and set a strong example for others to follow. The report recommends:
- The FA should make it a priority for stewards and club staff to be trained to deal with abuse at club grounds, and to use social media to condemn discrimination.
- Prosecutions in cases of racial abuse at league and club level are "extremely welcome" but similar efforts should be applied to the grassroots game.
- More candidates from ethnic minorities should be trained as coaches and referees.
- Recruitment of managers and directors should be transparent and consistent to encourage greater ethnic diversity.
Racism and discrimination remain a "significant problem" in British football and more must be done to tackle the twin issues, MPs have concluded in a report out today.
An inquiry by the Culture, Media and Sport Committee following high-profile incidents last season has made a number of recommendations to stamp out racism in the game.
BBC News' sports news correspondent Dan Roan has tweeted:
BREAKING FA Chairman apologises: "We are deeply sorry this tragedy occurred at a stadium the FA selected...I offer a full apology.."
England have played the four-time World Cup winners Italy on 22 occasions, winning seven. The FA have published ten more facts about the fixture - here's the top five:
- Italy have won the World Cup four times and the European Championship once – when they hosted the four-team tournament in 1968. They won their semi-final with the Soviet Union on the toss of a coin after a 0-0 draw in Naples!
- Neither England nor Italy entered the first European Championship in 1958-60, then known as the ‘European Nations Cup’.
- England and Italy have met on 22 occasions, initially in a Rome friendly in 1933 that finished 1-1. England’s record is won seven, drawn six and lost nine.
- England have only won one of their last nine matches with Italy, 2-0 in ‘Le Tournoi’ in Nantes 15 years ago.
- Despite having an Italian manager for four years, England and Italy haven’t played each other since 2002. The Italians edged a friendly 2-1 at Elland Road.