Institutional racism, whiteness and the under-representation of minorities in leadership positions in football in Europe

2017-03-27T10:12:16Z (GMT) by Steven Bradbury
This article seeks to critically examine the relationship between processes and practices of institutional racism and the continued under ‐representation of minorities in leadership positions in football in Europe. In doing so, the article will begin by providing a marker for levels of minority representation in senior administrative and governance positions within professional football clubs and national governing bodies of football. The article will then draw on interviews with twenty key stakeholders drawn from thirteen different countries to examine the extent and ways in which practices of institutional racism have impacted disproportionately on limiting minority access to ‐ and involvement in ‐ the senior organisational tiers of the game. The article will argue that these practices of institutional racism are underpinned by patterns of white hegemonic privilege embedded within the pre‐existing core structures of decision making bodies at the highest levels of football. Finally, the article will suggest ways through which to challenge and dismantle these practices of racially inflected institutional closure and patterns of white hegemonic privilege and improve the legitimacy and functioning of the sport across the continent.