We need more Jews in the game, says FA chairman

By Craig Silver, November 27, 2008
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FA chairman Lord Triesman believes that racism in football will become a thing of the past if more Jewish players, along with those from other religions, get involved at the top level.


While the Kick It Out campaign has traditionally focused on abuse aimed at black players, the limited number of Jews in the professional game in England has given a low profile to antisemitic abuse. Triesman, 65, believes it is of "critical importance" that there should be more players from all faiths to help overcome some of the prejudice that remains.

He said: "I think it's really valuable to have Jewish players, young Muslim players and more players from the Asian communities."The full integration of people in football is a really worthwhile objective. I think it will help decrease prejudice in football where we still see the crowds shouting abuse at players."
Triesman said: "It has always been true that with clubs such as Wingate & Finchley and the Maccabi League, there has always been a real outlet for grass roots football for Jewish people. "And perhaps some of the really good Israeli players can be a good inspiration as we have a very small number of British-born Jewish players in the professional game."

The FA's first independent chairman, Triesman was keen to sing the praises of national team manager Fabio Capello. "I think he has made an enormous difference," he said. "He's a winner and very determined. He makes his preparation for every game with the greatest care and I know this now first-hand - even to the length of the blades of grass at Wembley. "He gets the very best out of each of the players and, as chairman of club England, you can imagine that I am feeling very good right now."
Triesman, a Spurs fan, was a keen onlooker as special guest at Wingate & Finchley's FA Trophy third qualifying match against Sutton United.

Wingate & Finchley reached the FA Trophy first round proper after beating Ryman League Premier Sutton United in Tuesday night's third qualifying round replay. The original tie finished 1-1.
Maccabiah-bound Craig Ellis scored one of the penalties in the shoot-out to set up a trip to Farnborough.

Wingate manager Michael Stone said: "This was a memorable night for not just myself, the players and staff but everybody involved at the football club."

    Last updated: 5:24pm, November 27 2008