Gay group slams FA for failure to act over ‘racist and homophobic’ texts

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The head of the Gay Football Supporters Network has hit out at the FA – for deciding not to take any action over a string of racist, sexist and homophobic texts allegedly sent by football bosses.

Allegations were made in August last year that former Cardiff City boss Malky Mackay and his then head of recruitment Iain Moody were involved with a string of racist, homophobic and sexist text messages – one of which allegedly read: “He’s a snake, a gay snake. Not to be trusted.”

Mackay – who departed the team in 2013 – later admitted to sending some of the messages, saying: “Out of 10,000 text messages in and out of someone’s phone, I sent three, and that being the case, looking at them, they are completely unacceptable, inappropriate, and for that and any offence I’ve caused, I sincerely apologise.”

However, following a lengthy investigation, today the Football Association concluded that no action will be taken because they were “private communications sent with a legitimate expectation of privacy”.

The decision has been slammed, given the body’s supposed ‘zero-tolerance’ approach to racism and homophobia.

Ed Connell, Chair of the Gay Football Supporters’ Network, said: “It is disappointing that the FA has taken several months to conclude its investigation into the alleged racist and homophobic private correspondence between Malky Mackay and Iain Moody.

“The lengthy delay does not give the impression that that such issues are being sufficiently prioritised.

“If the FA is serious about tackling discrimination then it needs to implement a code of conduct prohibiting any discriminatory behaviour that brings the game into disrepute, for all those involved in professional football regardless of the context in which the conduct occurred, public or private.

“There is no room in football for those who think such behaviour is acceptable, regardless of the forum in which it is made.”

Anti-discrimination group Kick It Out said: “Kick It Out is of the view that The Football Association has damaged its own credibility and anti-discrimination policies by taking the decision not to charge former Cardiff City and Wigan Athletic manager Malky Mackay and Iain Moody, a former employee of Cardiff and Crystal Palace, for alleged racist, antisemitic, sexist and homophobic comments revealed by the Daily Mail in August 2014.

“The FA has continued to maintain a distinction between public and private communications. These messages were exchanged via work phones and emails, and when they did eventually emerge into the public domain, it became clear to many people that such held and expressed views had brought the game into disrepute unless dealt with effectively and expeditiously.

“Once the messages were disclosed, there was a clear public interest in action being taken. Mackay and Moody admitted their involvement and this is clearly an abrogation of responsibility on the part of The FA. The review currently being undertaken by The FA of its unwritten policy on dealing with ‘private communication’ is lamentably late in the day.”