Minister for sport backs anti-sexism football campaign
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Minister for sport backs anti-sexism football campaign

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UK minister for sport, Helen Grant, has thrown her weight behind a campaign against sexism in football following the emergence of footage showing a female Chelsea club doctor being verbally harassed by Manchester United and Arsenal fans earlier in the season.

The video footage – taken from Arsenal and Manchester United’s games against Chelsea – included sexist, derogatory language aimed at Chelsea's Eva Carneiro. The campaign group Women in Football (WIF) has said it is gravely concerned by the lack of response from the FA, regarding the incidents. WIF says it has recorded 13 similar incidents from the Premier League this season aimed at female staff members, journalists and cheerleaders during matches.

“It is absolutely right we champion and celebrate women who work in the football industry and play vital roles in making the game the success that it is," said Grant, who welcomed the campaign and called on football to battle sexism.

"I want more women to get involved in football across the board and to see it as a great industry to work in. Sexism, in any shape or form, should not be tolerated so I applaud this push to encourage people to report any incidents of sexist abuse and for the promotion of inclusivity across football.”

WIF argues that efforts to tackle sexism should be equal to the anti-racism measures in sport, something it says is not happening right now.

“Women in Football are appalled that sexist abuse has been allowed to thrive, unchecked, around some of the country’s most iconic football stadiums,” said a spokesperson for the group.

“We are gravely concerned at a lack of action on this issue, and the negative message this sends to women in the football industry. We urge the authorities to put sexism at the heart of football’s anti-discrimination agenda, alongside all the other strands that it must also tackle.”

A month-long campaign, set to launch in conjunction with International Women’s Day on 8 March, aims to raise awareness of discrimination and sexist abuse using social media platforms.

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