Monday 16 January 2012
Prime Minister David Cameron has paid tribute to the Premier League's efforts in tackling racism in football.
Hosting a reception on Monday to celebrate a successful partnership between the staff at 10 Downing Street and the football charity Street League, the Prime Minister took time to acknowledge the work being put in to remove racism from the game.
"Football has this incredible power for good and we need to do everything we can to harness that," said the Prime Minister. "One area in particular where I know the football community as a whole has done a lot of good over the years - really setting the example - is tackling racism.
"It's vital that more coaches and managers from black and minority ethnic groups make it to the top of the game and the Premier League are trying to make this happen"
- David Cameron
"Campaigns like Show Racism the Red Card and Let's Kick Racism out of Football have made a real difference. And I know that the Football Association, Premier League and Football League - along with the PFA and many others - continue to work hard on this.
"But of course many of us will have been concerned by recent events. My message is clear. We will not tolerate racism in Britain. It has absolutely no place in our society. And where it exists, we will kick it out."
He added: "Our football governing bodies, clubs and footballers themselves have a vital role to play as role models in this respect.
"It's vital too that more coaches and managers from black and minority ethnic groups make it to the top of the game and I know the Premier League among others are working hard to try and make this happen.
"They will have the full support of this government in using football as a force for good in our society."
The charity Street League engages young people in structured football and education programmes, helping them to harness their strengths on the pitch like teamwork, leadership and motivational skills, and apply them to the world of work.
During 2011, Street League helped more than 400 young people into work or education and training - many of whom have been among the hardest to help and from some of the most troubled or disadvantaged backgrounds.
Downing Street staff - including the Prime Minister himself - have volunteered with Street League, including running mock job interviews and hosting events such as the summer graduation with Cesc Fabregas, the then Spanish Prime Minister Jose Zapatero and Adrian Chiles; and a session with Pele in the Downing Street garden in August.