Asian boy ‘racially attacked’ at football match in London

Sathi Balaguru, was playing in a nine-a-side game for Pitshanger FC in west London when the incident happened.

By: Sattwik Biswal

A 12-year-old Asian footballer was racially abused during a match as his family criticized the local football association for their lack of support.

  • His family also said the opposing team has yet to apologize after the incident.
  • Sathi Balaguru was playing in a nine-a-side game for Pitshanger FC in west London where he was tripped up and called an ‘Indian boy’.
  • A player from the opposing team also addressed him in a racist Indian accent, the Guardian reported.

Balaguru is British and is of Sri Lankan descent.

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Sixteen months after the alleged incident, he decided to speak out and said he wanted “everyone to have a fair chance”.

He fears that his ethnicity will limit his progress in the game.

Balaguru was the only Asian player on the pitch that day and said he felt “being of Asian descent will already reduce my chances of being a professional footballer by around 50%”.

According to the FA, players from Asian communities are “most underrepresented in nearly every area of ​​grassroots and professional gaming”.

Data from the 2019-20 season showed only eight of the nearly 4,000 English professional footballers who played in the top four divisions were Asian.

Last year, Leicester’s Hamza Choudhury became the first British Asian to win the FA Cup.

The Balaguru team were playing at Wealdstone Youth FC in October 2020 when the racist incident happened and was recorded in the referee’s report.

I had never experienced this before“, he told the Guardian.I had no way to describe my feelings and felt paralyzed and overwhelmed.

Reports suggest the Wealdstone manager told the referee after the game that he had to yell at a player after Indian accents were directed at Balaguru.

Curtis Alleyne, the Pitshanger FC backup officer, contacted Middlesex FA and Wealdstone, but the FA said there could be no charges of misconduct against anyone under 11, in line with FA rules. FA.

However, a month after the incident Middlesex FA said they were coordinating with Wealdstone”who have already started player education”.

Middlesex FA told the Guardian he spoke to Balaguru, his parents and Alleyne last October and offered his help through the charity Sporting Chance, which provides support for victims of discrimination. It said “we thoroughly investigate all allegations of discrimination in accordance with FA rules”.

But Balaguru said:From Middlesex FA I had no support.“As of May 2021, he still had not received an apology.


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