PREMIER LEAGUE and FA chiefs want to sit down with Raheem Sterling to discuss his demands for tougher action against racism.
The Manchester City and England winger slammed the steps made by football authorities so far.
Raheem Sterling says T-Shirts are not enough to fight racism[/caption]
Sterling, who accepts he has become a “figurehead”, said he hoped to have proper discussions with the FA and Premier League after England take part in the Nations League finals in Portugal next month.
He said: “In football, you can get caught up in training every day and games every few days, so you don’t have a lot of time to be speaking to people.
“But for sure, in my holidays, if I can get round to speak to people in the FA and the Premier League, to see how we can look about doing things better in the future, I’ll be there in person to do that.”
Both the FA and Premier League responded by promising to meet 24-year-old Sterling. An FA spokesperson said: “We welcome Raheem’s thoughtful comments regarding the fight against racism and our work in this important area is ongoing.
PREM AND FA WELCOME STERLING TALKS
“We know there is more to be done and are committed to this in partnership with others across the game. We look forward to picking up more formally with Raheem once his England commitments are over for the season.”
Prem bosses echoed that stance and said: “The Premier League and our clubs agree that while good work has been undertaken, more needs to be done to promote inclusion and diversity across football and to ensure BAME fans and players are supported.
“Together, we are also committed to improving pathways to encourage more people from different backgrounds to take up coaching, refereeing and administrative roles in the sport. Raheem took part in our No Room for Racism campaign and we’d welcome the opportunity to talk to him, and other players, about discrimination in football.
“Developing our work in this area is a priority for the Premier League.’’
Sterling revealed he had declined to join the PFA’s social media black-out which followed on from the abuse hurled at himself, Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi and Spurs star Danny Rose during England’s Euro 2020 qualifying win in Montenegro.
STERLING SNUBBED PFA SOCIAL MEDIA BOYCOTT
The City man said: “I didn’t agree with the idea, that was a social media black-out.
“I said to them I didn’t agree with that idea.
“It was a social media policy, it was going to happen for one day, then be forgotten about two days later.
“Kick It Out do a lot in England as well, a few times they get us to wear a T-shirt, but that’s not enough. There needs to be harder punishment, teams getting deducted points or getting kicked out.
“This is when people start taking it seriously. T-shirts and things like that don’t mean anything of a true value.
“When we do get the right time we will definitely have conversations with the right people.”
Sterling travelled to New York to talk to a Wall Street Journal forum in the Big Apple, where he again pushed for a nine-point deduction for teams whose fans racially abuse players.
He added: “If I go to a football game and support Manchester United, for example, I don’t want to be the person that lets my team down by saying silly remarks in the stadium.
“If you know your team is going to be deducted nine points, which means they’re not going to win the league, you’re not going to say these racist remarks.
“But fining a club £5,000 or a fan £300, that doesn’t do anything. It will be another opportunity for another set of fans to do this.”
The FA is not currently pushing for points deductions.
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It is also believed Prem bosses will resist the idea, arguing that sporting achievements should be paramount.
Sterling has already had a number of discussions with England boss Gareth Southgate over the issue, although the Three Lions chief said his players felt walking off the pitch was not the right response.
Wembley chairman Greg Clarke is urging Uefa to ensure referees take stronger action on the pitch against incidents of racism when they are reported by players.
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