Chelsea midfielder Eden Hazard believes discrimination is prevalent in world football – but that it can be overcome.
Hazard was at Stamford Bridge on Thursday night as Kick It Out marked its 25th anniversary and he says people must work together to try and find solutions to problems in football such as racism and homophobia.
“It is still a big problem, not just in England but everywhere,” said Hazard. “That’s why we are talking about it tonight.
“But we can beat this if we talk in the media. We will try to stop this. It’s hard but the more we talk, the more we can solve this.”
Former Chelsea defender and Kick It Out co-founder Paul Elliott says football now faces broader challenges compared to when he was a player in the 1980s and ’90s.
“When Kick It Out was formed [in 1993], it was really about the treatment of black players on the field of play, players of my generation,” said Elliott.
“All we ever wanted was that fundamental human right to work in a racist-free environment.
Chris Ramsey said he’d like to see more diversity at board level, calling QPR director of Football Les Ferdinand a ‘trailblazer’.
“Out there [on the pitch] is our workplace and that was compromised in a very serious and disrespectful way, but those challenges have been nullified.
“There are broader challenges still with race, but you’ve got anti-Semitism, homophobia, xenophobia, islamophobia, they are 21st century challenges.
“That’s the evolution of the unfortunate challenges but we’ve got to attack it with the same vigour, strength, leadership and passion that we’ve done previously.”