Kick It Out’s Chairman and Founder, Lord Herman Ouseley, has announced he is to stand down in 2019 as head of the anti-discrimination organisation, following 25 years at the helm.
The 73-year-old former Chair of the Commission for Racial Equality, founded Kick It Out in August 1993 with the aim to tackle racism and discrimination in football.
His resignation comes in a year which has seen Kick It Out mark its 25th anniversary, a milestone acknowledged when England hosted Switzerland in a friendly at Leicester City’s King Power Stadium in September 2018, commemorating the organisation’s significant landmark.
In a Kick It Out statement, Lord Herman Ouseley said: "When I set up the Let's Kick Racism Out of Football in 1993, I hoped that the football authorities would take it on board and tackle the problem.
“It proved to be a long haul with a slow process of change in pursuit of equality, inclusion and cohesion.”He revealed that he had envisaged stepping down for a decade from his role as Chair, to “handover the reins to younger equality advocates and campaigners but have always been told that 'not now, this is the wrong time' and no-one else has stuck their head above the parapet to lead the organisation.”
“Now is the right time for new leadership of Kick It Out as I re-focus my life for new challenges after 56 years of public service.
“I have thrown challenges at the leaders in football and they need to show their hands - they need to show they are capable of bringing about lasting change if they all come together out of their silos and take a dynamic and coherent approach to meeting the equality challenges.”
The EFL would like to thank Lord Herman Ouseley for his 25 years contribution as founder and Chair of @kickitout— EFL (@EFL) December 11, 2018
Much has changed in the 25 years since Kick It Out was established and significant strides have been made in tackling discrimination. pic.twitter.com/aJtWNKikdy
Lord Ouseley is to stand down at the end of the current 2018/19 season and believes Kick It Out is well positioned to “continue its excellent work in helping to prepare the next generation of players for the diversity of cultures in the game and to handle all inequalities, discrimination and prejudice.”
Greg Clarke, FA Chairman, added: “Herman’s tireless work in the pursuit of equality and fairness in football is something we can all take inspiration from. His efforts have encouraged many to follow a similar path.”
Since its establishment 25-years ago, Kick It Out has gone on to be funded by a combination of The Football Association, the Professional Footballers’ Association, the Premier League and the English Football League.
Photo: © Getty Images