Kick It Out has been made aware of an incident involving Leicester Nirvana, a grassroots club with a strong community focus who provide opportunities to young people.
During a recent fixture, one of Leicester Nirvana’s players was initially refused permission to play by the referee due to wearing a bandana, in line with his religious beliefs, but was later allowed to feature.
So as not to interfere with the ongoing investigation, Kick It Out will refrain from commenting on case specifics however it wishes to extend its support to Leicester Nirvana and the player, and will provide guidance wherever needed.
The case raises important issues for the wider grassroots community. This level of football relies on people giving up their time to referee, coach, supervise and play in these fixtures, and they should all be commended for doing so.
What is essential, however, is that officials receive sufficient equality and inclusion training as well as being up-to-date with the laws of the game, around issues such as headwear.
When incidents arise from a lack of knowledge this can have a detrimental impact and be stressful for not only the individual, but also for the teams involved.
This can easily be avoided and only reinforces the point that those responsible for officiating fixtures need the knowledge and support from the authorities to be able to play their part in what, ultimately, should be an enjoyable experience for all concerned.
Read the article on their website here.