Lord Ouseley has called on football clubs and authorities to do more to encourage the reporting of racist abuse after a global survey revealed more than half of fans have witnessed incidents at games.

The survey, the results of which have been released by equality organisation Kick It Out and live-score app Forza Football, reflects the views of nearly 27,000 supporters from 38 countries.

An average of 54 per cent of respondents said they had personally witnessed racist abuse, with Peruvian fans reporting the highest incidence at 77 per cent and Dutch supporters the lowest at 38 per cent.

Half of UK fans claimed they had witnessed abuse, but only 40 per cent said they would know how to report it, while the figure globally was 28 per cent.

This is the area that Ouseley, the chairman of Kick It Out, believes can and should see the biggest change.

He told Press Association Sport of the findings: "If you were asking this question 10 years ago, certainly 25 years ago, about how many fans had witnessed racist abuse it probably would have been about 90 per cent, so the fact it's 50 per cent is both disappointing and pleasing, because we've moved and are moving in the right direction.

"What is disappointing is only around 40 per cent know what to do about it. That's critical in terms of where we want to take football. We want football clubs and the authorities to be doing a lot more.

"Around every football club there should be signs everywhere, there should be opportunities for people to download apps and complain either to clubs directly or to Kick It Out, or to the FA or the appropriate league.

"It's easily done because it's been done at a few grounds now and been done very well with the stewards well trained to respond. We would like to see that at all grounds so, the next time a survey like this is done, most people should know exactly what they could do about it.

"It's the confidence that clubs should be giving to spectators that they shouldn't have to put up with this and the clubs want it stopped."

Fans were also asked whether they would feel comfortable with a player of a different ethnic or racial background to them representing their club or country, with an average of 84 per cent saying they would.

Fans in Norway (95 per cent), Sweden (94 per cent), and Brazil (93 per cent) felt the most comfortable, but it was a different story in the Middle East in particular.

Only 11 per cent of fans in Saudi Arabia said they would feel comfortable, while the figures for Lebanon (15 per cent) and the United Arab Emirates (19 per cent) were also very low. More than 20 per cent of Germans, Spaniards and Italians also said they would feel uncomfortable.

There was strong support from fans globally both for teams to face points deductions for incidents of racist abuse and for governing bodies to take previous racist abuse into account when deciding where to stage international tournaments.

Qatar will host the World Cup in four years' time, and Ouseley hopes that will help to change attitudes both to and within the Middle East, in a similar way to what happened in Russia this summer, where fears of abuse and trouble proved unfounded.

"I'm not concerned," he said. "For a start it's four years away. You've got to judge things on the climate at the time.

"All you can do is hope every possible likely consequence is being addressed, which I think it will be, because of the controversy of the award in the first place.

"That's not to say that once it's over people won't go back to being prejudiced or biased, but hopefully they're influenced in the way we saw in Russia."