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Survey Reveals Two-Thirds of Women Face Gender Discrimination in Football; Barry Bennell Sentenced to fifth Jail Term for 22 Sexual Offences and More (Football Round-Up)

Short Passes (Football News Round-up): 'Heartbreaking': survey reveals extent of gender discrimination in football | Barry Bennell sentenced to fifth jail term for sexual offences against boys | Clubs ready to innovate to ensure fan safety, says Palace chairman | New Body to tackle Racism in England | Germany's Loew cuts five players for Nations League games.
discrimination faced by women in football

The survey by Women in Football revealed that only 12% of incidents were reported, a sign that there was “still a lot of fear” of speaking out.


A survey was sent to 4,200 members of Women in Football (WiF) and the organisation’s chair, Ebru Köksal revealed that the survey results were “heartbreaking and devastating.”

The results revealed that one of three women working in football were faced with gender discrimination in the workplace at some point in their life, revealed the survey. WiF’s members are a network of professionals who work in every area of the game, on and off the pitch.

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“In this day and age, it’s no longer acceptable,” Köksal said. “Inherent sexism in the game has been continuing for decades.”

The survey further revealed that only 12% of incidents were reported and Köksal emphasised that there was “still a lot of fear” of speaking out. “A lot of women have got to where they are on hard work and, a lot of the time, much more merit than their male counterparts and they don’t want to lose that hard-earned position and status,” she said.

In response to the findings, WiF has taken the initiative to launch a corporate membership scheme to work with governing bodies, clubs and other football stakeholders to help eradicate gender discrimination in the game. 

Barry Bennell sentenced to fifth jail term

Former football coach Barry Bennell has been awarded with an additional four years imprisonment for nine sexual offences against two boys — his fifth jail term.

Bennell, 66, is already serving a 30-year sentence at HMP Littlehey in Cambridgeshire after being found guilty of 52 child sex offences in 2018.

The former Crewe Alexandra coach, who is also known by the name Richard Jones, appeared via videolink from prison after pleading guilty to three counts of buggery and six counts of indecent assault at an earlier hearing.

The court heard how the former coach abused nine victims while they were staying at his homes in Crewe and Furness Vale, Derbyshire, as well as at the children's home Taxal Edge. In a victim impact statement, one said he had given up football after suffering a panic attack while playing for his national team.

Bennell was first jailed in Florida in 1994 for raping a British boy on a football tour in America, before going on to face prison sentences back in the UK in 1998, 2015, 2018 and 2020. 

Clubs to innovate to ensure fan safety

Premier League clubs will take every step possible to ensure a safe return of fans to stadiums, Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish said. Currently fans are completely prohibited or are allowed in limited numbers in pilot programmes at football games in England.

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The British government was trying to hold a capacity of 25-33% capacity crowds from October 1 but the decision was reversed by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson late last month.

“Supporters could return in limited numbers with distancing... and there are a whole range of additional measures we would be willing to take even if those came at significant cost,” Parish wrote in his column for the Times.

“We are trialling a new machine that tests for Covid-19 and returns the result within 30 seconds... You breathe into a disposable bag and it costs 5 pounds ($6.45) per test.

New Body to tackle Racism

A new body called Football's Black Coalition (FBC) has been launched by black coaches, along with former and current players, to tackle racism in football. 

FBC aims to get governing bodies to do more to challenge racism while tackling issues of under representation in the game. The BBC reported that the group was in part inspired by the MLS Black Players For Change group (BPCMLS). BPCMLS was founded in June, in the wake of George Floyd's death in the USA on 25 May.

USA international Justin Morrow, spokesperson for BPCMLS, said in June he hoped black players in England would create their own group. "I think it's something, as they know themselves, that's very needed," he said.

It is understood that FBC and BPCMLS have been in contact via conference calls. The group's formation comes just over two weeks after Queens Park Rangers director of football Les Ferdinand said the impact of taking a knee "has been diluted".

QPR did not carry out the gesture in support of the Black Lives Matter movement before their Championship match against Coventry City on 18 September.

Loew drops five players 

Germany coach Joachim Loew dropped five players from his squad to play against Ukraine and Switzerland in the Nations League. Germany played out a 3-3 draw against Turkey on Wednesday, resting several regulars, with Loew naming a second string side for the game.

Benjamin Henrichs, Nico Schulz, Niklas Stark, Nadiem Amiri and Mahmoud Dahoud, were dropped from the team before Saturday's game in Ukraine.

Loew will add Bayern's Joshua Kimmich, Serge Gnabry, Niklas Suele, Leon Goretzka and keeper Manuel Neuer to his 23-man squad after they completed fulfilling Covid-19 protocols and have done resting. He has also added RB Leipzig's Marcel Halstenberg and Lukas Klostermann to the squad.

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