Kick It Out reports another annual rise in discriminatory abuse in football

Credit: PA

Reports of antisemitic, racist and other discriminatory abuse within English football have risen for the sixth year in a row, according to the latest figures from Kick It Out.

Football's equality and inclusion organisation has revealed there were a total of 520 reports of abuse last season, up 11 per cent from 469 in 2016/17, with racist abuse accounting for more than half of the cases.

One in 10 reports of abuse concerned antisemitism, while reports of disability discrimination more than doubled from 14 to 29.

The statistics are compiled from all levels of the game and include reports of abuse on social media.

Cases from across the professional game increased from 194 to 214, with reports of abuse at English Football League games up by 30 per cent. Reports of abuse in the grassroots game rose by more than a third.

In a statement, Kick It Out chairman Lord Ouseley said: "It is hugely disappointing to have to reveal, yet again, increasing levels of all forms of discriminatory abuse at football.

"While the increased reports reflect a greater inclination among fans to complain about unacceptable abuse, these trends reflect, in part, what is happening in the rest of society. Hate crime reports have doubled over the last year to more than 94,000.

"Football cannot be complacent about the risk to the game this represents. Much good work has, and is, being done to prevent and counter unacceptable behaviour.

"But the professional leagues and their clubs must do more in a coherent and consistent way - exemplifying all the best practices applied by some clubs - to drive hateful and abusive spectators out of the game.

"Equally, the FA and its county associations, as well as local leagues, must step up their actions to ensure compliance and enforcement at grassroots level."