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Joint statement on the Royal Assent of the Online Safety Act

26 Oct 2023
Joint statement from Kick It Out, The FA, Premier League, EFL and PFA on the Royal Assent of the Online Safety Act

Kick It Out, The FA, Premier League, EFL and PFA have been working with Government to ensure Online Safety Act tackles racist and other discriminatory abuse

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"Kick It Out, The FA, Premier League, English Football League and the PFA have been working closely with the Government and parliamentarians to ensure that the Online Safety Act (OSA) effectively tackles racist and other discriminatory abuse online and better protects users on social media platforms.

"Online abuse in football has risen significantly in recent years, but new laws passed by the Government should offer some hope to all those who participate in football. Change will take time, but it’s a big step in the right direction to make everyone in football feel safer online.

"We still need to ensure that law enforcement tackles perpetrators of online abuse and we urge the Government to ensure that the independent regulator, Ofcom, has sufficient powers to hold social media companies to account. In time, the OSA will introduce new tools to help users avoid discriminatory abuse. But social media companies don’t need to wait. They can introduce better tools right now so that users are free from unwanted and damaging discrimination."

See: Premier League commitment to tackling discrimination

The Premier League remains committed to tackling all forms of discrimination as part of our No Room For Racism Action Plan, which aims to ensure that football is an inclusive environment for all.

Ways in which the League is tackling discrimination includes the implementation of an online abuse reporting system to support players, managers, coaches and their family members who receive serious discriminatory online abuse.

This includes the League reviewing each case and reporting it to the relevant social media company, before an investigation and legal action is taken where appropriate.

See: How the Premier League supports safety online

The League implemented new enhanced anti-discrimination measures from the 2021/22 season as the League and its clubs continue to work together to make it clear any form of discriminatory behaviour is unacceptable in football and wider society. Clubs agreed to enforce new League-wide punishments, including bans, for any individual found to have behaved in a discriminatory or abusive way towards any club employee, player, match official, matchday steward or fan attending a Premier League match. This covers behaviour conducted in-person or online.

If you see online abuse directed at players, managers, coaches, match officials and their families, you can report it to the Premier League, here

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