MPs to hold inquiry into racism in sport

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AN INQUIRY into racism in sport is to be held by the Government following recent high profile incidents including the Luis Suarez case and allegations made against John Terry.

The Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee has agreed to look into the issue, with an evidence session scheduled for early next month, and representatives from Liverpool could be summoned to the hearing.

Committee member Damian Collins said: “I think the events of the last two weeks have reignited concerns about racism in the game.

“Although this session will not necessarily be restricted to football it will be the principle area of inquiry following the Suarez case and the concerns that have arisen from that,” he said.

Collins said the committee had only just decided to hold the session and the witnesses and terms of reference will be decided closer to the date of the inquiry, scheduled for March 6.

Liverpool striker Suarez’s eight-match ban for racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra and a police charge against England captain Terry, who denies any wrongdoing, for allegedly racially abusing QPR’s Anton Ferdinand have thrust the issue back into the spotlight. The Crown Prosecution Service announced in December that Terry would be prosecuted and the case has yet to be heard.

Liverpool have also apologised to Tom Adeyemi, the Oldham defender who was allegedly racially abused while on the pitch at Anfield on Friday night. A 20-year-old fan is on police bail as a result of the incident.

Liverpool Walton MP Steve Rotheram has been pushing for the committee to hold an inquiry.

Rotheram said: “I continue to support the ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ initiative and believe, given the nature of recent events, that it would be appropriate for this issue to be looked at by parliamentarians from all parties and from different football/sporting and non-sporting allegiances.

“Sport should be rightly proud that in many ways it has led the field in tackling social issues such as racism, homophobia and sectarianism and it will be interesting to see what conclusions the select committee draw from the evidence session.”