David Cameron is to hold a summit on racism in football to help the sport in its faltering attempts to pretend the problem doesn’t exist.
The event will take place this month and, although details have not been finalised, it is expected the Prime Minister will draw on his own party’s long experience of turning a blind eye to racism in its ranks.
In a statement, Mr Cameron said:
Senior members of my party have been caught dressing up as nazis, drinking toasts to Hitler and calling black people ‘picanninies’ but we’ve still managed to hoodwink everyone into thinking we don’t have any problems at all with racism. That’s why we in the Conservative Party feel uniquely qualified to advise the footballing authorities on how best to pretend racism doesn’t exist and act like everything’s completely hunky dory.
Jeremy Hunt, the culture secretary, said on Sunday that he found the failure of the Football Association to stop people openly discussing the problem of racism in the sport as:
Hunt also said he regretted the decision of the FA not to continue with its previous policy of pretending the problem didn’t exist:
The government is very concerned we don’t return to the bad old days of accepting the existence of racism in football again. We would like to see the problem of racism in sport tackled head-on, with strong action by the footballing authorities to make sure everyone in the sport pretends they love each other regardless of their race, nationality or religion, even though we know that only actually happens in cloud cuckoo land.
At a charity reception last month Mr Cameron said campaigns such as Show Racism the Red Card and Let’s Kick Racism out of Football had made a real difference by making everyone think racism was being defeated when in fact it hadn’t at all:
My message is clear. We will not tolerate discussion of racism in Britain. Debating problems of intolerance has absolutely no place in our society. And where discussion of racism exists, we will kick it out
A spokesperson for the Football Association accepted that the problem of racism in the sport had managed to ‘raise its ugly head again’ despite years of attempts to pretend it didn’t exist and underlined the authorities determination to stamp out any discussion of racism in the sport ‘once and for all’:
One of the main reasons we have made huge strides in changing attitudes to racial discrimination in recent years is because of the way we’ve managed to pretend it doesn’t exist. The lesson of the last couple of months is that you can never be complacent and we have to make repeated efforts to ensure discussions of racism do not distract us from the much more important and pressing issue of how we can continue to make shedloads of money by charging fans ridiculous prices to watch a bunch of overpaid, self-indulgent, spoilt players have hissy fits on the field.
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