Friday, September 28, 2012


Transcript of Kick It Out campaign Chairman Lord Herman Ouseley interview on the BBC

 Richard Bacon: Are you pleased with this verdict?

 Herman Ouseley: This is not about being pleased or not pleased. Its not about recriminations. Its about how football actually moves forward from here. Its spent 11 months going through the ringer in which people are hearing all sorts of things. Its created divisiveness amongst different people who are campaigning to make football a better spectacle, a better place to be for all who play and watch the game. There are 7 million people who play football on a regular basis and we want them to be playing football in an atmosphere in which there is little or no abuse.

 RB: Is there an argument though Gordon was explaining there that the bar you have to clear is different in the court of law and as we said the context was important and the FA have a lower bar and perhaps John Terry was anticipating this guilty verdict when he made his decision to quit international football on Sunday. But is it right that the bar is lower? Shouldn't the FA take into account context?

 HO: This isn't about bars, this is about the disciplinary rules of the regulatory that governs football in this country. It has its rules set out. It has a responsibility to administer those rules. If young people playing football this week on the pitch use abusive language the FA has a responsibility to bring them under its rules and deal with them.

 RB: But are the rules right?

 HO: The rules apply to young people, they apply to amateur football, they apply to all professionals. Why should people at the top of football be exonerated?

 RB: No one is saying that.

 HO: You're implying that. You're going on about a bar. Its the same for everyone. Every professional body has its professional rules.

 RB: A bar can be in place

 HO: A criminal offence is quite different from professional conduct.

 RB: A bar can be in the same place for everyone. It doesn't mean necessarily that the bar is in the right place.

 HO: Every professional body sets its rules for that profession as it applies to that profession.

 RB: So say somebody said something really abusive to me and I said back to them did you just say that word to me? That wouldn't be me abusing that person.

 HO: I wasn't there. That is something that has already been tried and John Terry has been cleared of that. My position is that I'm interested in how we help the next generation of young people playing football to know what is required of them in terms of their conduct and the implications if they behave badly. That's what were trying to do every day and a lot of people have been working to try to instill that in the next generation of footballers and we've got to have role models and exemplars who can help us do that. Its what you want in a sport. We've just had the Olympics and the Paralympics and we've seen what the morality of sport means for people in setting that bar in which you shake hands be proud to be competing and not abusing each other. That's what we want to see in football.

 RB: My final point would be, if you look at it from John Terry's point of view, if lets just say that what hes said is completely accurate and take him at his word, from his point of view, this judgement, he will think that people will hear this judgement and they will think that he is a racist. And his argument is that he is not a racist.

 HO: And I would absolutely understand that. This isn't about John Terry being a racist, and clearly no one should be accusing, and no one has accused John Terry of that.  But I cant speak for John Terry and John Terry clearly can speak for himself or indeed for Anton Ferdinand. But a lot of people have been hurt by what has gone on - on all sides - and this issue has created divisiveness and this is not a criticism of everyone, its saying we have to pull together collectively to move forward in a way that makes football a better place where the sort of language that is used every day on the field of play has to stop.

I think you'll find, Lord Ouseley that word has gotten out, even if it's inaccurate.

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