Rio Ferdinand called on football federations to take more action against racism after a banana was thrown at Richarlison during Brazil's 5-1 friendly victory over Tunisia on Tuesday.

A banana appeared to land near Richarlison as the Tottenham forward celebrated scoring Brazil's second goal near the corner flag at Parc des Princes in Paris.

The incident comes after Vinicius Junior, Richarlison's international team-mate, was told by a Spanish agent to "stop playing the monkey" in relation to his goal celebrations.

Richarlison himself received criticism last month when he started doing kick-ups late in Spurs' 2-0 away win at Nottingham Forest.

And former England international Ferdinand believes it is wrong that, in his view, Richarlison received as much condemnation for his showboating against Forest as Tuesday's incident with the banana has.

"You've got your own kids waking up and saying: 'Dad, have you seen that banana thrown on the pitch at Richarlison?' It's madness," Ferdinand said on his FIVE YouTube channel.

"There was probably as much vitriol and hysteria on social media and in the media in general as there were with this banana incident, racism incident, as there was when Richarlison was doing kick-ups."

The Manchester United legend also believes more should be done by footballing powers, adding: "I'm not saying football can change or cure racism because I would be an idiot to think that.

"Football can play a good part in highlighting issues and standing together, standing strong and standing unified to make the authorities and powers that be put things in place to protect people, but it ain't happening. It's disheartening.

"Another day racism is okay and welcomed in football. Look at the reaction to the stuff with Vinicius Jr. I don't see the federations coming out and absolutely backing these players and going absolutely against it or a big press conference being called and saying 'we ain't having this'."

Neymar has hit out at Mallorca captain Antonio Raillo over controversial remarks directed towards Brazil team-mate Vinicius Jr.

The Real Madrid forward has been embroiled in a racism scandal after a Spanish agent told him to "stop playing the monkey" in reference to his dancing celebration.

Vinicius was then subject to a torrent of abuse from Atletico Madrid fans in Madrid's recent derby victory, celebrating Rodrygo's goal in his customary fashion after being urged to "keep on dancing" in a flood of support.

On Monday, Raillo cause further controversy when he accused Vinicius of using the "race card" when he is criticised.

"Vinicius should dance, but he shouldn't be foul, he shouldn't insult or belittle his fellow professionals; then when he is branded as provocative, he uses the race card," he told Diario de Mallorca.

Neymar has subsequently responded on social media, replying to a post from TNT Sport Brasil and asking: "Who is Raillo?" – accompanying his comment with a laughing face emoji.

Brazilian footballers have unfortunately been on the receiving end of recent abuse, with the incident on Vinicius followed by a banana being thrown at Richarlison after he scored for the national side in a 5-1 friendly victory against Tunisia on Tuesday.

A banana was thrown at Richarlison during Brazil's friendly against Tunisia in Paris, the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) said.

Richarlison scored the Selecao's second goal in a 5-1 win at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday.

But the victory in Brazil's final match before the World Cup was soured by reports of a racist gesture aimed at the Tottenham forward.

Video footage appeared to show a banana land near Richarlison as he celebrated his goal, and the CBF confirmed the incident on social media.

"Unfortunately, after the goal, a banana was thrown on the pitch towards Richarlison, scorer of the second Brazilian goal," a short statement read.

"The CBF reinforces its position to combat racism and repudiates any prejudiced manifestation."

Stephen Curry says he spoke to Adam Silver about Robert Sarver's punishment and is pleased with the sanctions imposed on the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury owner.

The NBA suspended Sarver for one year and fined him $10million after an investigation questioned 320 people over allegations about his behaviour during his 18 years with the Suns.

Sarver last week announced that he intends to sell up after he was found him to have engaged in racist and sexist conduct.

Golden State Warriors superstar Curry revealed he contacted NBA commissioner Silver about the issue and has given his backing to the outcome.

He said during a Warriors media day: "[I] got [Silver's] point of view of what decisions and, I guess, mechanisms he had to intervene and bring down a punishment that was worthy of the actions that we were all responding to and representing the league as a whole and protecting the integrity of the league and the standard that we set terms of from execs, ownership, all the way down to players.

"There should be a standard around what's tolerable and what's not."

Curry added: "I think the outcome was exactly what should have happened.

"Honestly, I thought with the punishment that was handed down, it would have dragged out a little longer, but I'm glad we got to a point where hopefully the team is up for sale sooner than later and can kind of move on knowing that's where it should be."

 

 

Clarence Seedorf was disheartened by a lack of job offers in Italy after his stint in charge of Milan as he highlighted how few black coaches are working in professional football.

Netherlands great Seedorf spent 14 years of his playing career in Italy, representing Sampdoria, Inter and Milan, the latter of whom he enjoyed a decade with.

He ended his playing days in January 2014 and became Milan's new head coach but was dismissed less than five months later.

Between January 2014 and the end of the season, Milan collected 35 points – the fourth-most in Serie A – and Seedorf won exactly half of his 22 matches in charge across all competitions.

Prior to Seedorf's arrival that season, Milan's haul of 22 points from 19 games was only the 11th best in Serie A. Similarly, the only Milan coaches to better his win rate in a single season since then have been Vincenzo Montella and Stefano Pioli.

Seedorf did return to coaching two years later with Shenzhen, before also having spells with Deportivo La Coruna and Cameroon, but it still troubles him how few opportunities in Italy have come his way.

"I wondered why I have not had other opportunities in Italy, I have two children born here," he said at the Turin Sports Festival, according to Pianeta Milan.

"I don't think it's a racist country, I've always supported this and I think I understand how it is. There are racists, but [the country] isn't.

"If one looks at what happened, there is little basis to understand that those who arrived [as head coach] after me at Milan immediately found a team [after then leaving Milan], and I didn't even have one proposal. After 20 years in Italy... or they told me they didn't want to offend me with a proposal.

"Send me a proposal, then I decide whether to be offended or not. It's not only in Italy, there are few black coaches anywhere.

"I got my first serious proposal in China, I took it because I like to travel and I make every project an important thing.

"However, it is disappointing to see that after the experience at Milan, in which you do well, you do not receive a call.

"Football reflects society. I make it a life mission to create equality and inclusion. It should be the strength of the company.

"The world is now connected, there is no longer any way to keep people out. You are next to someone who does not resemble you, but who is more of your country than yourself, knows more... It was a difficult moment, I was aware of it, but I didn't think it would happen with me."

NBA commissioner Adam Silver says Robert Sarver's decision to sell the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury is "right next step for the organisation and community."

Sarver on Wednesday announced that he intends to sell up after an investigation found him to have engaged in racist and sexist conduct.

The 60-year-old was suspended for one year and fined $10million by the NBA last week after an investigation questioned 320 people over allegations about Sarver's behaviour during his 18 years with the Suns.

Silver believes it is the right move from Sarver to seek buyers for the Suns and Mercury.

He said: "I fully support the decision by Robert Sarver to sell the Phoenix Suns and Mercury. This is the right next step for the organisation and community."

Sarver earlier declared: "Words that I deeply regret now overshadow nearly two decades of building organisations that brought people together – and strengthened the Phoenix area – through the unifying power of professional men's and women's basketball. 

"I expected that the commissioner's one-year suspension would provide the time for me to focus, make amends and remove my personal controversy from the teams that I and so many fans love.

"But in our current unforgiving climate, it has become painfully clear that that is no longer possible – that whatever good I have done, or could still do, is outweighed by things I have said in the past.

"For those reasons, I am beginning the process of seeking buyers for the Suns and Mercury.

"I do not want to be a distraction to these two teams and the fine people who work so hard to bring the joy and excitement of basketball to fans around the world.

"I want what's best for these two organisations, the players, the employees, the fans, the community, my fellow owners, the NBA and the WNBA. This is the best course of action for everyone.

"In the meantime, I will continue to work on becoming a better person, and continuing to support the community in meaningful ways. Thank you for continuing to root for the Suns and the Mercury, embracing the power that sports has to bring us together."

Robert Sarver has announced his intention to sell the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury after an investigation found him to have engaged in racist and sexist conduct at the workplace.

Sarver was suspended for one year and fined $10million by the NBA last week after an investigation questioned 320 people on allegations of Sarver's behaviour over his 18 years spent with the Suns.

The investigation prompted widespread criticism of both Sarver and the NBA's response, including four-time MVP LeBron James saying: "Our league definitely got this wrong."

In a statement, Sarver declared: "Words that I deeply regret now overshadow nearly two decades of building organisations that brought people together – and strengthened the Phoenix area – through the unifying power of professional men's and women's basketball. 

"I expected that the commissioner's one-year suspension would provide the time for me to focus, make amends and remove my personal controversy from the teams that I and so many fans love.

"But in our current unforgiving climate, it has become painfully clear that that is no longer possible – that whatever good I have done, or could still do, is outweighed by things I have said in the past.

"For those reasons, I am beginning the process of seeking buyers for the Suns and Mercury.

"I do not want to be a distraction to these two teams and the fine people who work so hard to bring the joy and excitement of basketball to fans around the world.

"I want what's best for these two organizations, the players, the employees, the fans, the community, my fellow owners, the NBA and the WNBA. This is the best course of action for everyone.

"In the meantime, I will continue to work on becoming a better person, and continuing to support the community in meaningful ways. Thank you for continuing to root for the Suns and the Mercury, embracing the power that sports has to bring us together."

Atletico Madrid have condemned the racist abuse directed at Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior by supporters, promising the "immediate expulsion" of any members who were involved.

Sunday's LaLiga derby between the two capital clubs was marred by pre-match scenes of Atletico fans singing racist chants about the Brazilian forward.

The chants came less than a week after football agent Pedro Bravo urged the Real Madrid winger to "stop playing the monkey" in relation to the forward's customary dancing celebration. Bravo later apologised, insisting he did not mean to cause offence with the comments made on TV show El Chiringuito.

Vinicius vowed to continue celebrating in such a way and was met with a wave of support, including from compatriots Neymar, Pele and Gabriel Jesus, but he was still targeted by some Atletico fans ahead of Sunday's match.

Atletico have belatedly spoken out against the abuse suffered by the forward and offered their cooperation to the police.

"Our club has always been known for being an open and inclusive space for fans of different nationalities, cultures, races, and social classes, and a few cannot tarnish the image of thousands and thousands of Atleti fans who support their team with passion and respect for their opponents," the statement read.

"These chants provoke enormous repulsion and indignation. We will not allow any individual to hide behind our colours to utter insults of a racist or xenophobic nature. At Atletico Madrid, we have zero tolerance for racism, our commitment to the fight against this social scourge is total, and we will not stop until we eliminate it.

"To this end, we have contacted the authorities to offer them our full cooperation in the investigation of the events that took place outside the stadium. We ask them to identify the people who participated [and] to proceed with the immediate expulsion of those who are members of the club.

"We would also like to invite all professionals involved in the world of football to reflect deeply. Making clear once again our strongest condemnation of these events, which have no justification whatsoever, we believe that what has happened in the days leading up to the derby is unacceptable.

"Fans are asked for sanity and rationality, and during the week, professionals from different fields generated an artificial campaign, lighting the fuse of controversy without measuring the repercussions of their actions and manifestations.

"The pain felt by the red and white family for this event is enormous. We cannot allow anyone to link our fans with this behaviour and question our values because of a minority that does not represent us.

"Our decision is firm and emphatic. We will not stop until we expel those involved from the red and white family because they cannot be part of it."

LaLiga has condemned the racist abuse of Vinicius Junior by Atletico Madrid fans before Sunday's derby clash at the Civitas Metropolitano.

Real Madrid won the contest 2-1 thanks to goals from Rodrygo and Federico Valverde, with Mario Hermoso's late shouldered effort nothing more than a consolation.

That ensured Madrid went into the international break top of the table with six wins from as many games, but the match was marred by the actions of some Atletico fans.

A large group were videoed singing racist chants about Vinicius just outside the stadium before the game. The Brazilian had attracted much of the pre-game focus in the wake of Spanish football agent Pedro Bravo telling him to "stop playing the monkey" on TV show El Chiringuito in relation to his tendency to dance when celebrating a goal.

Bravo apologised and insisted it was not his intention to offend.

During Sunday's game, there were also reports of racist chanting occurring inside the stadium, though the vile pre-game scenes had already become the focus thanks to the widespread sharing of videos on social media.

In a widely reported statement, a LaLiga spokesperson said: "We denounce all incidents inside and outside stadiums. We work with clubs to keep our football friendly and enjoyable.

"Hate speech has no place in La Liga and we always work with the clubs and the authorities to identify and bring to justice any such case."

Atletico supporters also threw objects on to the pitch as Vinicius and Rodrygo danced while celebrating Madrid's opening goal.

Rodrygo considers Karim Benzema "impossible to replace", but the Brazilian is nevertheless giving his all to fill in for the injured Real Madrid striker.

Madrid's opener came from Rodrygo in their 2-1 derby triumph at Atletico Madrid on Sunday, as Carlo Ancelotti's side kept up their 100 per cent record in LaLiga to top the table heading into the international break.

The Brazil international combined excellently with Aurelien Tchouameni to slot home in the 18th minute, before Federico Valverde made it 2-0 prior to the break.

Atleti fought back through Mario Hermoso's late goal, but it was not enough to inspire a full comeback – with the hosts' scorer subsequently sent off after picking up two bookings in as many minutes.

While captain Benzema is set to return after the international break, Ancelotti has been able to rely on Rodrygo to lead Madrid's line in the France frontman's absence, with the 21-year-old contributing to five goals in his last four LaLiga appearances.

Asked in a post-match interview with Movistar+ how difficult it was to replace Benzema, Rodrygo said: "I've always had confidence, but last season I scored more goals at the end [of the campaign] and now I have scored them at the beginning as well.

"I'm coming off a very good season and I want to continue like this, because I [can get] even better.

"It's impossible to replace Benzema, but I try and I think I'm doing well. I have to say that I do things differently to him, we have changed the style of play."

Defender Dani Carvajal, meanwhile, said Rodrygo had given Madrid "wings in attack", even if Benzema was "fundamental" to Los Blancos.

Madrid have won all nine of their matches this season in all competitions, and they are the only side in Europe's top five leagues with a perfect record.

It marks the third time Madrid have won their first nine games in a single campaign after 1961-62 and 1968-69, when they won their opening 11 games in both campaigns.

"We are very happy. We started the season at 100 per cent, winning everything," Rodrygo said. "We are going into the break wanting to rest, play with our national teams and come back better."

Rodrygo celebrated his opener with compatriot Vinicius Junior, who in the wake of being crudely told to "stop playing the monkey" by a football agent in midweek, was the target of racist chanting from some Atleti supporters outside the Civitas Metropolitano prior to kick-off.

"It's a pleasure to play with him, something very special, without a doubt," said Rodrygo of his team-mate, who played a key role in Valverde's goal, hitting the post after a brilliant run, which enabled the midfielder to tuck home on the rebound.

The match was not without its contentious moments, with Hermoso's second yellow particularly harsh. Having previously been booked for dissent, the centre-back was adjudged to have lashed out at Dani Ceballos, though replays showed it was a questionable decision.

"Very bad taste, we have lost a very important match. We have not been so bad, we have not deserved the defeat, but it is football," Atleti goalkeeper Jan Oblak told Movistar+.

On Hermoso's red card, Oblak said: "I've seen the video. The referee was very close and I don't know what he saw, but it's his decision and on video it's easier than [live], it's true.

"It didn't have to be yellow, there were still three minutes left and we could have taken advantage."

Real Madrid returned to the summit of LaLiga by beating neighbours Atletico Madrid 2-1 in a full-throttle derby.

Racist chanting in reference to Vinicius Junior from a large group of Atleti fans outside the Civitas Metropolitano soured Sunday's meeting before kick-off, but Carlo Ancelotti's team delivered the perfect rebuttal on the pitch.

Rodrygo continued his excellent form with a superb finish from Aurelien Tchouameni's exquisite pass before Federico Valverde doubled Madrid's tally.

An improved second-half display from Atleti led to an 83rd-minute goal from substitute Mario Hermoso, who was then sent off as Madrid held firm to make it nine wins from nine in all competitions this season.

Atleti defender Felipe had the first chance in the sixth minute, heading over from Rodrigo de Paul's free-kick.

Yannick Carrasco scored the winner in the last meeting between the great rivals and had a shot deflected wide at the culmination of an excellent run – Joao Felix seeing a shot blocked from the resultant corner.

Yet with their first shot, Madrid struck in the 18th minute, Rodrygo poking home from a delightful one-two with Tchouameni, whose sublime, lofted pass evaded Felipe.

Antoine Griezmann drew a fine save out of Thibaut Courtois as Atleti searched for an equaliser, but Madrid were in complete control when Valverde expertly steered home from a tight angle after Vinicius hit the post.

Despite Courtois saving from Carrasco before the interval, Madrid kept Atleti at arm's length after the restart, and Simeone turned to Matheus Cunha and Alvaro Morata around the hour.

Yet it was a defender who came on to set up a grandstand finale – Courtois flapping at a corner and Hermoso turning the ball home off his shoulder.

Atleti's comeback hopes were dashed, though, when Hermoso harshly received a second booking for shoving Dani Ceballos at a corner, two minutes after receiving a caution for dissent.

What does it mean? Two-horse race looking likely

Diego Simeone was overseeing his 408th LaLiga match, making him the Atleti head coach with the most games managed in the competition, overtaking Luis Aragones. Yet once they had gone behind, Atleti never looked likely to mark Simeone's milestone with a victory, meaning his LaLiga record as their boss now stands at 247 wins, 95 draws and 65 defeats.

In the grand scheme of things, however, Sunday's match merely proved the gulf in quality that has developed between the city rivals since Atleti won LaLiga in 2020.

Bar one lapse in concentration for Hermoso's goal, Los Blancos, the only team in Europe's top five leagues with a 100 per cent record this season, were a class above as they claimed a 91st LaLiga triumph over Atleti and with eight points the gap between them and Madrid, it already looks as though it will be between the reigning champions and Barcelona (second, two points behind Ancelotti's team) for the title.

Rodrygo and Valverde on a roll

Filling in for the injured Karim Benzema, Rodrygo was immense, and he has now contributed to five goals in his last four games in LaLiga (scoring three times and providing two assists).

Valverde, meanwhile, continues to see his star rise. The 24-year-old midfielder has been involved in seven goals in his last 10 Madrid appearances in all competitions, as many as in his previous 95 Los Blancos appearances combined. His finish might not have matched the stunning strike he planted in from long distance against Mallorca or his superb, curling goal against RB Leipzig in midweek, but it required great composure, not to mention the energy and pace to get there in the first place.

Vinicius keeps on dancing

Football has united behind Vinicius after a Spanish agent seemingly used a racial slur against the Madrid star on an appearance on El Chiringuito. Unfortunately, despite Atleti's president Enrique Cerezo having issued his support of Vinicius in the build-up to the match, a large portion of home fans were recorded singing a racist chant directed at the 22-year-old prior to kick-off.

Seemingly in response, Atleti tweeted "Countdown to the derby. Support Atleti with passion and respect to the rival!". However, in a tense atmosphere, Vinicius showed his defiance to the abuse while celebrating Rodrygo's opener, joining his compatriot in dancing down on the touchline.

Vinicius did not just offer up defiance with his celebration, though. His part in Madrid's second was brilliant; a trademark, cutting run in from the left and, while his finish lacked precision, Valverde was on hand to score his third goal in as many matches.

What's next?

Madrid host Osasuna in their first game back after the international break on October 2, while Atleti face Sevilla a day earlier.

Karim Benzema will have to sit out Sunday's derby, Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti has announced.

The France international came off with a knee injury in Madrid's Champions League win at Celtic earlier this month and has not featured since.

Ancelotti previously said Benzema could be fit for the derby with Atletico Madrid this weekend, but also noted caution at the time by saying if he did not recover, he would also not be available for the upcoming international break.

With Benzema absent from Didier Deschamps' squad announcement for Les Bleus this week, it seemed unlikely he would feature at the Wanda Metropolitano, which Ancelotti confirmed at his press conference on Saturday, saying: "I'm not saying [who will play up front], Benzema won't be there.

"He has started working individually and will be ready after the [international] break."

Ancelotti also spoke about the recent controversial comments from Pedro Bravo, a senior agent in Spain, on Vinicius Junior.

Bravo appeared on television show El Chiringuito earlier this week, saying Vinicius had to stop dancing when he celebrated a goal, accusing the Brazilian of "playing the monkey".

Bravo has apologised and said he used the wrong expression, insisting he was sorry for causing offence.

"It's something that we don't touch on in the locker room, these are issues that are not normally discussed in the locker room, we usually talk about football," the Madrid boss said.

"Racism is one thing and what happens in football is another thing. We have not touched on this issue of racism because the player has responded very well."

When asked if he had spoken to the player about it, Ancelotti said: "No, because I'm not his father, nor am I his brother. I'm his coach.

"Nothing is wrong with him. He is playing with joy. Vini is joy, happiness."

Madrid have won all eight of their games in all competitions this season and will come up against an Atletico side who suffered a Champions League defeat at Bayer Leverkusen in midweek.

Ancelotti is not underestimating Madrid's local rivals, though.

"It will be a competitive match. They don't expect anything new and it will be a very competitive duel, a good football match, because there are very good players on both teams," Ancelotti said. "The match is open, but there is nothing definitive."

Pele has joined Neymar in offering his support to Vinicius Junior, who was the subject of a comment with apparent racist undertones from a Spanish football agent.

Pedro Bravo, a chief agent in Spain, appeared on El Chiringuito this week, and said Real Madrid forward Vinicius had to stop dancing when he celebrated a goal.

Bravo said: "You have to respect your opponents. When you score a goal, if you want to dance Samba, you should go to [the] Sambadrome in Brazil. You have to respect your mates and stop playing the monkey."

This comment has led to outrage from Vinicius' international team-mate Bruno Guimaraes, with the Newcastle United midfielder calling for Bravo to be "jailed".

Guimaraes tweeted on Friday: "This MORON needs to get out of there already arrested! There is no excuse! If the guy says that on live TV, imagine what he doesn't say when he's not. Incomprehensible if this guy is not jailed."

Neymar subsequently tagged Vinicius in his Instagram story, along with a photo of the Madrid star celebration and a caption that read: "Dribble, dance and be you! Happy just the way you are. Go for it my boy, next goal we dance!"

Vinicius replied with a photo of him dancing alongside Neymar and Guimaraes while playing for Brazil.

Pele then joined Neymar in offering support, with the legendary striker writing on Instagram: "Football is joy. It's a dance. It's more than that. It's a real party.

"Although, unfortunately, racism still exists, we will not allow that to stop us from continuing to smile. And we will continue to fight racism every day in this way: fighting for our right to be happy and respected."

Phoenix Suns vice-chairman Jahm Najafi has called for Robert Sarver's resignation after the majority owner was found to have engaged in racist and sexist conduct at the workplace.

The NBA hit Sarver with a one-year suspension and a $10million fine this week, having interviewed 320 people after allegations emerged of inappropriate behaviour during his 18 years with the Suns.

The league stopped short of issuing a lifetime ban, however, leading four-time MVP LeBron James to declare: "Our league definitely got this wrong."

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Sarver was "on notice" in the aftermath of the ruling, but Najafi does not wish to see Sarver stay on.

In an open letter to the Suns players and staff, Najafi said he had no interest in becoming the next managing partner, but would "work tirelessly to ensure the next team steward treats all stakeholders with dignity, professionalism and respect".

"Due to the NBA's investigation and findings, I have no choice but to speak up on behalf of the hundreds of you that have been impacted by your interactions with Robert Sarver," the letter from Najafi read.

"There should be zero tolerance for discriminatory actions of any level, in any setting, let alone a professional one.

"There is no question that the findings determined that Mr Sarver's lewd, misogynistic and racist conduct had a substantial negative impact on you and has no place in our society.

"Similar conduct by any CEO, executive director, president, teacher, coach or any other position of leadership would warrant immediate termination. The fact that Robert Sarver 'owns' the team does not give him a licence to treat others differently than any other leader.

"The fact anyone would find him fit to lead because of this 'ownership' position is forgetting that NBA teams belong to the communities they serve. Team investors are merely temporary stewards.

"If we, as sports leaders, are not held to the same standards, then how can we expect a functional society with integrity and respect on any level?

"I cannot in good judgement sit back and allow our children and future generations of fans to think that this behaviour is tolerated because of wealth and privilege.

"Therefore, in accordance with my commitment to helping eradicate any form of racism, sexism and bias, as vice-chairman of the Phoenix Suns, I am calling for the resignation of Robert Sarver."

Najafi has been critical of Sarver since the allegations were first reported last November, and is one of three vice-chairmen at Phoenix, where several other minority investors form part of the ownership group.

An independent review into Scottish cricket has found widespread evidence of institutional racism within the governance and organisation of the sport.

The report, undertaken following complaints of institutional racism by Scotland internationals Majid Haq and Qasim Sheikh, revealed a staggering 448 indicators of discriminatory behaviour upon its publication.

Both Haq – Scotland's second-highest ODI wicket-taker of all time – and Sheikh alleged institutional racism had impacted their careers in November 2021, with the review being set up the following month.

Equality and diversity group Plan4Sport carried out the review on behalf of funding body SportScotland, and found "a lack of any equality, diversity and inclusion or anti-racist training for board, staff, volunteers, players, coaches or umpires, no consistent mechanism for handling racist incidents, [and] a general lack of diversity and a lack of transparency in the selection processes".

Of 31 'tests' used to measure the extent of the problem, the game's governing body Cricket Scotland failed 29. 

On Sunday, Cricket Scotland's entire board resigned ahead of the publication of the report.

With the review's findings revealed in full on Monday, Cricket Scotland's interim chief executive Gordon Arthur pledged to implement its recommendations, which included diversity quotas for the organisation's new board, in full.

"The racism and discrimination that has taken place in the sport that we all love should never have been allowed to happen, or to go unchallenged for so long," Arthur said in a statement.

"I would like to again issue a heartfelt apology to all those who have been the victims of racism and discrimination in Scottish cricket. We recognise the impact this will have had on individuals and their families. 

"We hope the report provides them with some reassurance that their voices have been heard, and we are sorry this did not happen sooner.

"It's also imperative that we recognise the individuals who spoke out against racism and brought these serious problems to light and, despite their own suffering, continue to campaign for a fairer future for the sport.

"This report is a watershed moment for cricket in Scotland and taking its recommendations forward is the top priority. It’s clear that significant cultural change must happen and it must happen quickly.

"We are resolute on building and fostering a culture of inclusivity within the sport of cricket where racism and discrimination of any kind is not tolerated, where everyone is welcome and has access to equal opportunities. 

"We must address the past, repair the sport and ensure history does not repeat itself and we will need everyone’s commitment to make this change happen."

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