SWANSEA midfielder and British South Asian superstar Yan Dhanda, while responding to the recent comments by Greg Clarke, has said that the mistreatment of Asian people in football is often ‘swept under the carpet’.
Dhanda added that he would be happy if a suitably-qualified British Asian applies for FA chairman post.
In an interview to Sky Sports News, Dhanda opined that Clarke’s remarks ‘undo good work of so many in the game’
Clarke resigned from his role as FA chairman last week after making a number of offensive remarks before a digital, culture, media and sport committee, which included using the word “coloured” to describe black players.
He also went on to suggest the lack of South Asians in the game, in comparison to Afro-Caribbean people, was down to the fact they had ‘different career interests’ such as IT.
Asian-led supporters’ groups across the country have criticised the remarks.
According to the former England youth international Dhanda, Clarke’s comments illustrate how little progress has been made in the fight for equality across the game.
“To be honest, I can’t believe someone so high up in the FA and someone so powerful in football can even be saying comments like that,” Dhanda, whose father Jas hails from the northern India state of Punjab, told Sky Sports News.
“The way he was talking about women’s football, the words he was using towards people from different races and from different parts of the world is disgusting really, and obviously the bit that hurt me the most is what he was saying about Asian people and stereotyping them.”
Dhanda thinks an ethnically diverse candidate could thrive in the role of FA chairman, but says ultimately it must go to the best person for the job.
“Nobody has even mentioned South Asian people doing the job and being in charge. This is my point and has been my point for four or five years that they always get overlooked,” he said.
Dhanda said that the ‘mistreatment’ of Asian people is just getting brushed under the carpet and people are sugar-coating it and saying things are changing.
“When you are Asian, you actually know it is not improving. And you have got people like Greg Clarke who are that high up thinking this way towards Asian people, so you never know how many people below him, or above him, or even with the same power as him are thinking the same things,” he said.
“Until that changes we are never going to make any progress. We are not making progress when people like Greg Clarke are making comments like that.”
Former Liverpool and West Brom youngster Dhanda, who is one of the most high-profile British South Asian players in the English game.
“The thing that gets me the most is people are sitting on the fence and not sticking up for what’s right.If you’re an Asian person and you’re getting interviewed, and you’re asked if there are problems, don’t sugar-coat it to not upset anyone, just be honest and tell the truth, and that’s what I am doing,” he said.