Sexism reports in football hit record numbers this season

Women in Football has reported a near 400 per cent increase in reports of sex
discrimination and harassment.

The group, a network of professionals in and around the football industry, on Tuesday announced 271 incidents have been reported to it during the 2017-18 season.

Matchdays saw a 133.3 per cent increase in reports, workplace incidents were up 112.5 per cent and social media incidents increased by 285.4 per cent.

Of the social media spike, Women in Football said: “Lewd comments of a sexual nature, racist, gendered remarks and threats of violence have also been made to a number of high profile female journalists, broadcasters, players and referees.”

Women in Football chair Anna Kessel said: “We regularly support women who face discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace, providing pro bono legal advice thanks to Mishcon de Reya (law firm). We also work closely with Prospect Union and with the help of both, have successfully resolved numerous cases.

“The significant increase in the number of sexist reports received by Women in Football is of concern, but sadly, not a great surprise.

“What is clear is that this is just the tip of the iceberg; for every offensive tweet or comment posted and reported to us, there are dozens that aren’t.

“And we know from our 2016 research, that women who experience sexism at work rarely report it – just 1 in 10 according to our landmark industry survey.

“Football should be a safe, welcoming and positive environment for girls and women to work in, play in, watch games and be able to have an opinion about without being abused.

“We hope that governing bodies, employers and footballing role models will help us to spread this message.”