Yan Dhanda: Former Liverpool youngster proud to champion British South Asians in football | football news

Yan Dhanda says he is proud of the explosion of interest in British South Asians in football after taking a stand following comments from former FA chairman Greg Clarke in 2020.

Clarke resigned as chair of the FA after making a number of remarks before a committee on Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, including saying: “If you go into the FA’s IT department, there are a lot more Asians than there are Afro-Caribbean. They have different professional interests”. Clarke, who apologized and accepted that his comments were “unacceptable”, also resigned from his posts at UEFA and FIFA.

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Swansea midfielder Yan Dhanda spoke to Sky Sports News about his dismay at Greg Clarke’s remarks to MPs – which led to his resignation – and said mistreatment of people in South Asia in football is often swept under the rug

South Asian-led support groups affiliated with the Fans for Diversity campaign expressed their dismay at the comments reinforcing lazy stereotypes, and in an emotional interview with sky sports news, Dhanda – whose father Jas hails from the northern Indian state of Punjab – said Clarke’s comments suggested the game was moving backwards rather than forwards in the fight for equal rights for racially diverse communities in football.

Since that interview with Dhanda, who signed from Ross County in the summer, Sky Sports created a unique UK index site for South Asians in football that has enlightened and brought untold stories to mainstream media and changed the landscape for the community by identifying a new generation of role models in football.

Former Liverpool and West Brom youngster Dhanda told Sky sports news: “I’m super proud [of my personal contribution]. That was my main goal, to get people to stand up and talk about it.

“For the level of support [South] Asian players are coming now and for me it makes me happy to see so many more players coming through the youth ranks.

“And for people like me [and senior professionals like] To keep showing Mal Benning and Danny Batth that anything is possible no matter where you come from is amazing.

“The work that Sky Sports is doing is also really good and very positive and hopefully it can continue in the future. Hopefully we’ll see many more young Asian players come through and show they can make a living from football.”

British South Asians are the largest single ethnic minority in the country, but the community has been massively underrepresented in the professional game for decades, as Kick It Out chairman Sanjay Bhandari describes Sky sports news as early as December 2020 as “the biggest statistical anomaly in English football”.

Not enough work is done

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Riz Rehman said there needs to be fewer conversations and more concrete actions like the PFA’s Asian Inclusion Mentoring Scheme to increase the number of players from the community

Last year, the PFA’s Riz Rehman took aim at the lack of activity throughout the game, saying: “I think there’s too much talk and I’ve said it publicly, there’s a lot of talk. We want action, we want work.”

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Kick It Out chief executive Tony Burnett says fan groups like the Punjabi Rams are vital to the game, adding that work around British South Asians in football needs to become more urgent

Kick It Out chairman Tony Burnett has since said that the South Asian voice in the game was essential, adding, “We’ve got to work harder, we’ve got to work faster.”

During last year’s South Asian Heritage Month, England manager Gareth Southgate acknowledged the unconscious bias that has afflicted players of South Asian background in the past and stressed the importance of widening the net in identifying talent.

“Football is now being played in a lot of communities, in all kinds of areas,” Southgate said.

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Dave Rainford, Head of Education and Academy Player Care, says the Premier League will do more to try and increase the number of British South Asians playing at an elite level

“I find [in terms of] In scouting the South Asian community we have to be creative to get to the places that some of these kids could play and encourage them into broader leagues where they can be more easily gauged against other players and then take that step into the academy system. “

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The FA Director of Women’s Football Baroness Sue Campbell believes meaningful change for different communities at the elite end of women’s football could take years and admits the current system of talent identification and recruitment shuts out many people

Ahead of the Women’s Championship, FA Director of Women’s Football Baroness Sue Campbell said Sky sports news She believes meaningful change for different communities at the elite end of women’s football could take years and admits the current system of talent identification and recruitment shuts out many people.

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FA Chief Executive Mark Bullingham insists the FA is committed to opening up a path for girls into football and increasing diversity in women’s football

The FA has since confirmed the award of the first 60 licenses for the Girls’ Emerging Talent Center, taking the number of young players participating in FA programs across the country from 1,722 to over 4,200 by the end of the 2023-24 season becomes.

“Our main goals are to give more players better access while diversifying the talent pool,” added Kay Cossington, the FA’s head of women’s technical affairs.

Latest PFA figures show that just 9.7 percent of the players in the Women’s Super League are from a variety of ethnic backgrounds. The England team that just won the Women’s Euros had three ethnically diverse players, although none of them started a game during the tournament.

Sky Sports recognized and began taking action in 2020 as part of its £30m commitment to combat systemic racism and make a difference in communities across the UK to address the lack of diversity in women’s football.

Sky Sports has worked with dozens of current and former players from diverse ethnic backgrounds, trying to give them a platform to share their stories to spark the imagination and inspire the next generation of women footballers.

Role models have been identified and highlighted, with talent being referred directly to the FA and clubs as part of this Sky Sports’ unprecedented commitment to British South Asians in football which has also seen us expand our digital offering by creating a dedicated ongoing blog page.

A number of elite and elite potential players and their families have also been supported with mentoring and access to off-field development opportunities.

Roop Kaur Jira Rai
Picture:
Roop Kaur met Kira Rai from Derby County at the Seeing is Bconscious event created by Sky Sports and Sporting Equals for the century-old sports club Indian Gymkhana

Earlier this year, Sky Sports also partnered with Sporting Equals, the country’s largest sports racing equality charity, where we supported participation across the country, including the development of the Seeing Is Blieving event for the century-old West London sports club Gymkhana.

British South Asians in Football

For more stories, features and videos, check out our groundbreaking South Asians in Football page on skysports.com and the South Asians in Game blog and keep up to date with Sky Sports News and our digital Sky Sports platforms.

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