Undoubtedly, racism in football is at its highest point ever, but since the death of George Floyd, both players and football associations are fighting back.

October 14th marked one year since the infamous Bulgaria v England match, during which England players were the targets of racial abuse by Bulgarian fans. English fans recoiled in horror as the Lions endured cruel, racist taunts, and even attempted to leave the pitch in protest.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic forced football to go behind closed doors, fans have been anxiously waiting to return to their club’s stadium to cheer on their team once again, but the one thing the virus hasn’t prevented is racism.

We must not forget how big a problem racial discrimination was earlier this year, with Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger allegedly being targeted during his match against Tottenham Hotspur. Once again, racist chants haunted the terraces.  

So, how is the FA going to deal with this prejudice? One thing for sure: fans will return to stadia.  Indeed, Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, announced that ‘no EFL club will go bust’, despite almost all 72 teams from the Championship, League One and League Two being forced to survive without fans for their opening games of the season.

It would seem that, with the government already in debt of over a trillion pounds, the only solution to these desperate clubs’ problems, would be to allow fans to come back, despite the obvious health risks associated with the current pandemic.

There’s no doubt that EFL and non-league clubs need ticket sales financially, but will the return of fans lead to the return of racism?

Since the tragic killing of George Floyd on 25th May 2020, ‘Black Lives Matter’ has come to the fore: footballers have the taken the knee and the Kick it Out movement has strengthened its message: ‘No Room For Racism.’ We can not make so much progress, only for it to be obliterated by the (financial) decision to save the EFL.

Education is vital for our future generations. Fans need to listen to the likes of England forward, Raheem Sterling, who has launched his own anti-racism movement, challenging inequality in our society. Also, England manager Gareth Southgate recently spoke out, saying that the squad ‘care for each other; we’re united and we don’t see discrimination of any sort as acceptable.’

After England’s impressive win against Belgium last Sunday afternoon, the strength and quality of the team has been proven. The bonds between the players are the strongest they’ve ever been. There’s even silverware in sight! With the Euros next summer, and the World Cup the following winter, England have every chance to go on and win. Let’s not obliterate our hopes and further damage our footballing reputation by allowing racism to rear its ugly head.

Who knows? Eventually, football really may come home.