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“Without action, the protocols are useless”: PFA condemns racist abuse directed towards Kasey Palmer

omar beckles

The PFA has called for tougher action by authorities in stamping out racism from the game after Coventry City midfielder Kasey Palmer was racially abused by fans in a fixture against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday 20th January. 

In a statement, the PFA’s Chair Omar Beckles said: “The PFA has been working closely with the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), giving insights from a player perspective on protocols for dealing with racist incidents.

“We’ve encouraged players, when they are aware of racial abuse, to take control of the situation by delaying restarts, free kicks, and throw-ins. A stoppage in play – however long it takes – forces a response. It creates a window to alert match officials and gives the best chance of identifying those responsible. 

“However, without action, the protocols are useless.”

Beckles has also stated that players currently do not feel that enough is being done to root out racist abuse from the game.

“Our members want to see real, consistent and significant consequence for racist abuse, both for the individuals who are responsible and for clubs who fail to get a grip of the issue within their stadiums. The reality is that players don’t believe this is happening. The responsibility for what happens next lies with the authorities. 

“Kasey Palmer deserves to be commended for his exemplary behaviour and measured response in an extremely challenging situation. Those responsible for this incident were recorded, and they must be identified. They should face criminal charges and a ban from football. 

“The PFA remains resolute against racism and steadfast in supporting our players.” 

Kasey Palmer shared a short statement on X (formerly Twitter) following the incident:

“Disappointed to even have to come on here and write this. Racism is a disgrace… it has no place in the world, let alone football. 

“I’m black and I’m proud, and I’m raising my three kids to be the exact same. I’ll be honest, it feels like things will never change, no matter hard we try.”

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