Reports of discrimination in English soccer on the rise

Chelsea fans wait for the start of the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Arsenal. (Frank Augstein/AP)

LONDON — English soccer’s leading anti-discrimination group says reported incidents of discrimination in the professional game rose by 53 per cent over the past year.

A study by Kick It Out says the group received 206 reports of discrimination from the Premier League and lower leagues in the 2016-17 season, 12 of which came from players, managers, and club staff. More than half of the incidents in those 206 reports took place in the Premier League.

There were 469 reported incidents of discrimination across the whole of English soccer — Premier League down to grassroots — last season, an increase of 16.7 per cent from 2015-16, and more than six times the number from 2012-13.

Racial abuse accounted for 48 per cent of the reports.

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