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‘This is a major dissapointment.’ That is how the Professional Footballers’ Association of England reacted to the admission of player Wayne Brown, that he voted for the British National Party at the General Election of May 6th.

 

The 32-year old defender of Leicester City has angered teammates, including PFA chairman Chris Powell, and fellow professionals, by voting for the extreme right wing political party.

 

The PFA has worked hard for many years with a number of anti-racism bodies to try and eradicate racism from football, at all levels, and according to deputy chief executive Bobby Barnes, Brown’s comments have ‘set the movement back’.

 

Brown, whose announcement caused angry scenes within the Leicester dressing room, was told to stay away from the club after reporting for duty before Leicester’s play-off semi final clashes with Cardiff City in the Championship’s play-offs, and was urged to make a public apology. The club has not fired him, but announced that it has launched an ‘internal investigation’.

 

The player’s future seems to be shrouded in doubt. When asked whether it would be hard for Brown to stay at Leicester, or even find a new club, Barnes said: ‘I would like to think so. We have a zero tolerance policy on issues like this.’

 

‘Football has worked hard over the years to really be a beacon in the fight against racism and it is very discouraging to hear these comments when you think of the tireless work so many people, and so many organisations, have put in to get to where we are today.'

 

Barnes, also board member of FIFPro, continues: ‘In my day as a player you had to contend with racist comments coming from the terraces, so for this to come from within a dressing room is very, very disappointing and our members are angry that Wayne Brown was not prepared to abide by our mission statement.’