Swansea City attacking midfielder and British South Asian baller Yan Dhanda has said that the mistreatment of South Asian people in football is often “swept under the carpet” following the disgraceful comments from former FA Chairman Greg Clarke.
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.
"Let's be honest, it's bad, and people keep saying we are making progress and getting better but the reality of it is we are not."@yandhanda says South Asians in football feel betrayed by Greg Clarke's comments ??
— Sky Sports (@SkySports) November 17, 2020
In an interview to Sky Sports News, Dhanda said that Clarke’s remarks “undo good work of so many in the game” and illustrate the frustrating lack of progress 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 said, “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 spoke on the potential of a South Asian candidate filling the role, while saying that ultimately it must go to the best person for the job.
“All I want is for everyone to be equal, and that’s the main thing. But with the job, nobody is even talking about a South Asian person. It just proves my point exactly – it is always someone else, but never an Asian person getting pushed or spoken about for the job,” he said.
“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.”
Former Liverpool and West Brom youngster Dhanda continued by saying a switch up is needed in the game sooner rather than later: “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.”
“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.”