English football has been rocked by a novel racism dishonour after black and Asian referees disclosed the scale of abuse and detriment that, they say, is holding them back.

A report composed by match officials, and seen by the Observer, proclaims that racism in the FA’s refereeing system is eroding efforts by black and Asian people to reach the top levels of the game.

The diversity report bowed to the FA contains racist comments reputedly made by the observers who gauge referees for promotion to the higher leagues. The FA is now facing calls for a crucial inquiry.

The chief executive of the anti-racism charity Kick It Out, Tony Burnett said: “The lack of diversity in refereeing is our biggest failure in football. Black and Asian people are not getting through to elite refereeing.”

FA officials stated that they did not comment on individual allegations, but would “investigate all alleged incidents of discrimination”. The FA vouch last week that all referees who were not from “white British backgrounds’ were recorded in the ethnic minority figures.

A representative said: “We remain committed to ensuring the diversity of those playing, coaching, officiating and leading English football is truly reflective of our modern society. As part of this, within the 2018-2021 national game strategy we set inclusion targets across the game for the first time.”

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