New book tackles the exclusion of British Asians from football

Dan Kilvington

Dan Kilvington

A new book which explores the exclusion of British Asians from football and makes recommendations for achieving equality in the industry has been published by a Leeds Beckett University academic.

In his book, ‘British Asians, Exclusion and the Football Industry’, Dr Dan Kilvington, Senior Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies at Leeds Beckett, presents his extensive new research collected from interviews with players, coaches, scouts, managers, fans, and anti-racist organisations and highlights both historical and current reasons for the exclusion of British Asians from football.

Dr Kilvington explained: “I conducted almost 100 interviews with individuals and groups from all spheres of the game over an eight year period. The book explores overt and covert racism, highlights both male and female experiences and discusses the similarities and differences between Asian heritage communities, such as Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi, from across England. It provides a critical overview of equality and inclusion initiatives which aim to increase the numbers of British Asians in the game, in all areas. I also make recommendations for reform pitched at football’s key stakeholders which are believed to help achieve greater equality and inclusion.”

The book, published by Routledge, draws on case studies, one of which centres around Bradford. Dr Kilvington said: “Despite Bradfordian Asians’ passion, enthusiasm and love for football, no one from the South Asian community has managed to maintain a career in the professional game. I carried out in-depth research within Bradford, consulting ex-professionals, former academy players, coaches, scouts, managers and PE teachers.

“What I found was that there is a lack of grass roots opportunities within locales which are densely populated by Asian heritage communities; while the local and national scouting networks tend to overlook such communities and environment, for many reasons.

“My research indicates that more clubs are needed and, therefore, more coaches. With a view to changing this, Leeds Beckett University is funding a Coach Education Masterclass event at Bradford City on Wednesday 13 April which aims to create new coaches and develop the skills of existing grassroots and professional personnel, helping to create football opportunities for the next generation.”

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