Sexist abuse of Chelsea doctor prompts calls to report offenders
The Football Association is urging supporters to report sexist abuse at games after footage emerged of fans directing obscenities at Chelsea club doctor Eva Carneiro.
Recordings of fans at Manchester United and Manchester City chanting and shouting abuse at Carneiro were broadcast by the BBC on Thursday night, prompting the Blues to call for an end to sexism in football.
A spokesman for the Premier League leaders told the Guardian: "The issue of equality is one we take extremely seriously and we abhor discrimination in all its forms, includingsexism. Such behaviour is unacceptable and we want it eradicated from the game."
FA board member Heather Rabbatts described the abuse as "horrible" and urged supporters to notify officials if they witness such behaviour, telling the BBC: "We are absolutely encouraging people to report incidents like this."
Campaign group Women in Football is launching an anti-sexism social media drive on Friday and has also contacted all 92 Premier League and Football League clubs asking them to champion female members of staff in their matchday programmes ahead of International Women's Day on March 8.
Minister for Sport Helen Grant is supporting the initiative.
She said: "It is absolutely right that we champion and celebrate women who work in the football industry and play vital roles in making the game the success that it is.
"I want more women to get involved in football across the board and to see it as a great industry to work in. Sexism, in any shape or form, should not be tolerated so I applaud this push to encourage people to report any incidents of sexist abuse and for the promotion of inclusivity across football."
The incidents come after a study by anti-discrimination group Kick It Out revealed that 13 reports of sexism in English professional and grassroots football were made in the first half of the current season (August-December 2014).
Kick It Out went on to reveal that two sexism complaints were made during the 2013-14 season.