Yan Dhanda: Former Liverpool youngster is proud to take a stand for British South Asians in football | Football news

Yan Dhanda says he is proud of the explosion of interest in British South Asians in football after taking a stand following comments made by former FA president Greg Clarke in 2020.

Clarke stepped down as president of the FA after making a series of remarks before a committee on digital, culture, media and sport, which included the claims “if you go to the FA’s IT department, there are many More Asians than Afro-Caribbean. They have different professional interests. ”Clarke, who apologized and accepted his remarks, was“ unacceptable ”, he too resigned from his roles with UEFA and FIFA.

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Swansea midfielder Yan Dhanda spoke to Sky Sports News about his dismay at Greg Clarke’s comments before MPs – which led to his resignation – and said the mistreatment of South Asian people in football is often hidden under the carpet

South Asian supporter groups affiliated with the Fans for Diversity campaign expressed their dismay at the comments to reinforce lazy stereotypes and in an emotional interview with Sky Sport News, Dhanda – whose father Jas hails from the state of Punjab in northern India – said Clarke’s remarks highlighted how the game was going backwards rather than forward in the struggle for equality for ethnically diverse communities across. football.

Since that interview with Ross County summer signature Dhanda, Sky Sports created a one-of-a-kind British South Asians in Football index page that educated and brought untold stories to the mainstream media, changing the landscape for the community by identifying a new generation of role models in the game.

The former Liverpool and West Brom Dhanda youth said so Sky Sports News: “I’m super proud [of my personal contribution]. This was my main goal, to get people up and talk about it.

“For the amount of support [South] Now the Asian players are gaining ground and for me to see so many other players coming into the youth team makes me happy.

“And for people like me [and senior professionals like] Mal Benning and Danny Bath to continue proving that anything is possible no matter where you come from is incredible.

“The work Sky Sports is doing is also really good, and really positive, and we hope it can continue in the future. We hope to see many more young Asian players emerge and prove they can make a living from football.”

British South Asians are the largest ethnic minority group in the country, but the community has been massively underrepresented in professional gaming for decades, with Kick It Out President Sanjay Bhandari describing it at Sky Sports News in December 2020 as “the biggest statistical anomaly in English football”.

There isn’t enough work to do

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Riz Rehman said there needs to be less chatter and more concrete actions like PFA’s Asian Inclusion Mentoring Scheme to increase the number of players coming from the community.

Last year, PFA’s Riz Rehman targeted the lack of activity in the game by saying, “I think there’s too much talk, and I’ve said it publicly, there’s a lot of talk. We want action, we want opera.”

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Kick It Out CEO Tony Burnett says fan groups like the Punjabi Rams are vital to the game, adding that there needs to be more urgency in working around British South Asians in football.

Kick It Out president Tony Burnett has since said that the South Asian voice is essential in the game, adding: “We have to work harder, we have to work faster”.

Speaking during South Asian Heritage Month last year, England manager Gareth Southgate acknowledged the unconscious bias that South Asian players have historically been affected by, stressing the importance of broadening the net when it’s about identifying talents.

“In many communities now, football is played, in all sorts of variety of areas,” Southgate said.

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Dave Rainford, the academy’s head of player education and care, says the Premier League will do more to try and increase the number of British South Asians playing at the elite level

“I think [in terms of] exploring the South Asian community, we need to be creative in getting into places some of these guys might play and encourage them to enter larger leagues where they can be more easily rated against other players, and then take that step into the system academic”.

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FA Women’s Football Director Baroness Sue Campbell thinks significant change for different communities in the elite bracket of women’s football could take years, admitting that the current Talent ID and recruiting system excludes many people.

Ahead of the women’s European Championships, said FA women’s football director Baroness Sue Campbell Sky Sports News he thinks that a significant shift for several communities at the elite end of the women’s game could take years, admitting that the current talent identification and recruitment system excludes many people.

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FA Chief Executive Mark Bullingham insists the FA is committed to building a path for girls in football and increasing diversity in women’s play

The FA has since confirmed the award of the Girls’ Emerging Talent Center’s first 60 licenses, which will see the number of young female players engaging in FA programs across the country increase from 1,722 to over 4,200 by the end of the 2023-24 season.

“Our primary goals are to provide greater access to more players while diversifying the talent pool,” added Kay Cossington, FA Women’s Technical Manager.

The latest figures from the PFA indicate that only 9.7% of the Women’s Super League players are from different ethnic backgrounds. The English team that just won the women’s European Championships had three ethnically diverse players, although none of them started a match during the tournament.

Sky Sports recognized and began taking steps to address the lack of diversity in women’s gaming in 2020 as part of its £ 30 million commitment to tackle systemic racism and make a difference in communities across the UK.

Sky Sports has worked with dozens of current and former players of different ethnicities and sought to offer them a platform to share their stories to try and capture the imagination to inspire the next generation of female soccer players.

Role models were identified and highlighted, with talents reported directly to the FA and clubs as part of Sky Sports’ Unprecedented commitment to British South Asians in football, which has also seen us expand our digital offering by creating a dedicated blog page.

A number of elite and potential elite female players and their families were also supported with mentoring and access to off-pitch development opportunities.

Roop Kaur Jira Rai
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Roop Kaur met Kira Rai of Derby County at the Seeing is Believing event, conceived by Sky Sports and Sporting Equals for the centuries-old sports club Indian Gymkhana

Earlier this year, Sky Sports also partnered with the country’s largest racing equality charity, Sporting Equals, which saw us support participation across the country, including designing the ‘Seeing Is Believing’ event for West London Gymkhana’s secular sports club.

British South Asians in football

For more stories, features and videos, visit our groundbreaking South Asians in Football page on skysports.com and South Asians in the Game blog and stay tuned to Sky Sports News Other our Sky Sport digital platforms.