Anti-racism groups and the English Football Association (FA) have deplored the finding by an independent panel that a British football manager who used “offensive, racist and Islamophobic” language “is not a conscious racist”.
Former Crawley Town Club Manager John touches He was accused of making at least 16 offensive comments between 2019 and 2022, with each comment including “a reference to ethnic origin, color, race, nationality, religion or belief, and/or gender,” The FA, the governing body of English football.
The organization said in a statement on January 6 that an independent regulatory committee appointed by the FA investigated and suspended all activity related to football and soccer for 18 months to June 1, 2024, due to 12 breaches of FA rules. He was suspended from coaching duties in April pending an investigation by the Organizing Committee and let go in May.
Responding to the independent panel’s findings, the FA said in a statement on Wednesday that it was “examining legal options” following the ruling, adding: “We fundamentally disagree with the independent panel’s finding that this was not a case of conscious racism.”
The Football Association said that Yems admitted one comment and denied 15 comments. The federation added that during a hearing, the Independent Regulatory Commission found Yems guilty of 11 violations and could not prove the other four.
Yemmes, 62, testified before the committee that he was not a racist. He said he himself was from a “traveling group” and that his wife was from an immigrant family. He has admitted that he was not careful enough about speaking in a “politically correct way”.
In its conclusions, the independent commission said it had concluded that “11 of the remaining 15 charges have been determined on the basis of the balance of probabilities.”
the Report, Reviewed by CNN, it outlines a number of clearly racist statements by Yems, including slurs and crude stereotypes of black people, Muslims, and people of Caribbean and South Asian descent.
But despite the “offensive, racist and Islamophobic” comments, the panel found – led by Robert Englehart KC and including Wolverhampton Wanderers general manager of football operations Matt Wilde and Tony Agana, a former footballer and specialist arbitrator for the FA Claims Commission – Yems was not aware racist” and does not deserve a more severe punishment, such as permanent suspension.
“We have accepted that Mr Yems is not a conscious racist,” the committee wrote, explaining that they reached this conclusion after reviewing written submissions from both parties. “If it were, a very long, even permanent suspension would be appropriate.
“However, Mr. Yems’ ‘joking’ undoubtedly came across to victims and others as offensive, racist and Islamophobic. Mr. Yems simply had no regard for the distress his misplaced banter was causing,” the panel added.
Crawley Town and the English Football League declined to comment when contacted by CNN.
CNN also offered Yems a right of reply via the League Managers Association, the organization that represents English football coaches.
Anti-discrimination group Kick It Out also criticized the panel’s findings, saying in a statement: “The discriminatory language outlined in the FA Independent Panel’s report is simply appalling.
“Given the seriousness of the incidents detailed, it is very difficult to understand how the FA Independent Panel could have concluded that ‘Mr Yems is not a knowing racist’. We do not share this view. The behavior described in the report should be noted for what it is, exactly what it is, racism and Islamophobia.
They added, “To be frank, the fifteen-month ban due to the seriousness of the 11 confirmed charges is a slap in the face to the victims of the discriminatory abuses detailed in this report and anyone who has experienced racism or Islamophobia.”
Meanwhile, the educational anti-racism group Show Racism the Red Card (SRtRC) said it was “very disappointed” by the comments highlighted in the report.
The group added that “racism, whether ‘conscious’ or not, has an extremely devastating effect on the individual.”
“In addition to the sanctions imposed by the Football Association, there must be strong and extensive anti-racism educational training, otherwise the perpetrator will never understand the impact and trauma that individuals have suffered as a result of their ‘unconscious’ actions,” said SRtRC.
“It is important for people at all levels of the game to see that the football family stands united in eradicating racism from the game and the wider community.”
The panel noted that Yems had reported taking two online courses, but said he still had to go through a tutorial, which he did not elaborate on.