Clubs need to look at lack of opportunities for Asians in football

Professional Footballers' Association chairman Clarke Carlisle would like to see the introduction of a quota system as a means to combat racism in the sport.

Carlisle fronts a BBC Three documentary called 'Is Football Racist?', to be aired on Monday night, and was shocked by elements of what he saw during filming.

Among the problems he encountered were highly-gifted South Asian players being denied opportunities because of their ethnicity and the limited opportunities open to black managers.

The 31-year-old, who has played in every division of English football, believes a quota system would begin to address the issue.

"I do like the idea of quotas for the application process, not just for coaching or managerial jobs, but for all positions that are available within the structure of football," he said.

"That would definitely be a pre-cursor to addressing the levels of diversity.

"What was also apparent was that the young black footballer didn't feel as though anything was being done about incidents of racism.

"We need to address our processes in dealing with incidents - reporting mechanisms and sanctioning.

"When it comes to scouting young players I don't have a solution, but it's something that needs to be looked at so that clubs are encouraged to embrace their ethnic communities, especially Asian."

Several current black England players were contacted by Carlisle to give their views in the documentary, but all refused to speak out.

"We didn't get a real answer from players about why they were so reluctant to talk," Carlisle said.

"My personal opinion is that they don't because nobody wants to be seen to be a troublemaker by stirring things up or to be perceived as a militant activist.

"Professional footballers earn fantastic wages but their average career span is only eight years.

"You're not going to stick your head above the parapet, even if your perceived apprehensions are founded.

"If they're worried it will affect their career, why would they rock the boat?"

:: Is Football Racist? Will be broadcast on Monday on BBC Three at 9pm.

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