Kick It Out has launched a new app to make it easier for supporters to report abuse.
Football fans across the country have called for tough and consistent action to be taken against perpetrators found guilty of discrimination after taking part in a major consultation conducted by Kick It Out, football's equality and inclusion campaign.
Over 5,000 fans completed the 'Tackling Discrimination' survey, carried out by Populus and supported by the Football Supporters' Federation (FSF), Supporters Direct, Level Playing Field (LPF) and the Gay Football Supporters' Network (GFSN), answering a series of questions to help Kick It Out form a blueprint for tackling discrimination in future years.
The survey revealed many fans were unclear about how to report incidents of discrimination and were scared of being singled out if they were seen to take action. Fans also called for reporting methods to be made clearer and for more options to be provided.
This has prompted Kick It Out to develop a new app, free to all fans on iPhone and Android devices, which allows discreet reporting of discrimination seen, heard or experienced, and an online "Football Fans' Guide to Reporting Abuse and Discrimination" to encourage the reporting of incidents. Both will be available for use at the start of the 2013/14 season.
Roisin Wood, Director of Kick It Out, said: "The majority of football fans have told Kick It Out they want action to get rid of discrimination at all levels of the game. These new reporting tools will allow fans to help clubs and the relevant authorities target instances of discriminatory behaviour more consistently while maintaining healthy and vocal rivalries.
"Over the past 20 years, the campaign has stayed at the forefront of tackling discrimination with innovative campaigns and we have made real progress, but there is still plenty to do. This will go some way in helping responsible fans work with us to make further progress.
"Kick It Out will continue to work with clubs, managers, players, fans' organisations and the governing bodies to help actively promote all reporting procedures."
The new app, which was developed by Kick It Out and Make Positive, a leading cloud technology firm, and supported by the Salesforce.com Foundation, Sherry Design and Davenport Lyons, allows fans to report incidents both online and offline depending on the availability of a mobile phone signal. It will combat the fear that some fans expressed about being singled out if they are seen standing up to discrimination.
The anonymity of those fans making reports is protected. Fans can choose to be kept up-to-date with the progress of their report by providing contact details confidentially, or can remain anonymous. All reports are forwarded to the club concerned, through the relevant club representative, and a copy is forwarded to The FA.
Kick It Out is also working with the PFA and Make Positive on development of a reporting app for use by players, to help them report discrimination more easily.