Of the 323 cases reported in the past two seasons, 230 were related to racism. (Photo: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images).


There has been a significant increase in the number of hate crimes reported at football matches.

New figures released by the Home Office revealed that with 12 incidents reported, Burnley had the most of any club last season.

Sunderland had the second-most incidents reported, followed by Manchester United with 11 and 10 such reports respectively.

Of the 323 cases reported in the past two seasons, 230 were related to racism.

The data was collected from a Freedom of Information request to the Home Office by the Press Association.

Responding to the findings, Burnley said they were taking a “pro-active stance on such issues”.

“As a club we operate a zero-tolerance policy towards any form of discrimination at Turf Moor and amongst our supporters at away matches,” said a club statement.

“We actively encourage our supporters to report any relevant incidents, including those suspected from our own fans, which we believe is reflected by the number of reports made.

“Going back to 2016 we supported our former player, Andre Gray, who criticised two Burnley supporters for allegedly using racist comments in a match at Bradford.”

Manchester United and Sunderland too released statements urging supporters to report any abuse.

A statement from Sunderland said: “We pride ourselves on the Stadium of Light being an inclusive venue.

“We work with the police to ensure all evidence is passed to them so they can pursue criminal prosecutions wherever possible.”

A United spokesperson said: “There is absolutely no place for discrimination within our game, or in society as a whole. We will continue to take strong action against anyone who we identify has engaged in racist or discriminatory abuse, either online or at our matches.”

Kick it Out, an anti-discrimination group, said discrimination was a challenge for all clubs and encouraged victims to report abuse.

“Currently, discrimination, diversity and inclusion data is fragmented across clubs, governing bodies, charities and law enforcement. Working together as a football community, we need to create more robust and comprehensive data to gain a more accurate picture of the problems and create more targeted solutions,” the group was quoted as saying by the BBC.