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Latest news and features from theguardian.com, the world's leading liberal voice

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    Defender responds to Herman Ouseleys criticism
    Comments centre-on T-shirt dispute at John Terry trial

    Rio Ferdinand has hit back at Kick It Out and accused the anti-discrimination organisation of being too scared to wear its T-shirts in court during the race trial involving his brother, Anton, and John Terry, despite claims from Herman Ouseley that the former England international should direct his anger at the Football Association and other power brokers of the game.

    Ouseley, the Kick It Out chairman, told the Guardian this week that the campaign group deserved better than being Ferdinands punchbag after the Queens Park Rangers defender described them as useless in his new book. However, at the launch of #2sides on Thursday night, Ferdinand reiterated his criticism and said he was not really bothered about Ouseleys remarks.

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    • Kick It Out reports dramatic increase in number of incidents
    • Ouseley urges appointments from ethnic minorities and women
    • Kick It Out takes aim at Wigan for hiring Malky Mackay

    Football remains overwhelmingly “male and pale”, according to the anti-discrimination body Kick It Out which has revealed a dramatic increase in the number of incidents of discrimination reported last year.

    In the organisation’s annual report, the Kick It Out chairman, Lord Herman Ouseley, has challenged clubs and authorities to appoint senior figures from ethnic minorities and women to reflect society.

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    • Reports of racist and discriminatory language up 21%
    • Kick It Out also receives 38% increase in complaints

    Reports of alleged racist and other discriminatory abuse made to the Football Association last season rose sharply to 887 incidents at all levels of the game, a 21% increase on the number reported to the governing body in 2013-14.

    Football’s anti-discrimination campaign Kick It Out also received a large increase in incidents reported to it: 393 last season, a 38% rise from the 284 in 2013-14.

    Related: Liverpool’s Brendan Rodgers ‘shocked’ by online racist abuse of Mario Balotelli

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    • Lord Ouseley hits out and calls on Greg Dyke to support Rabbatts
    • Investigation follows support for Chelsea doctor Eva Carneiro

    A Football Association investigation into Heather Rabbatts’ public backing of the former Chelsea doctor Eva Carneiro has been strongly criticised by equality activists, with Lord Ouseley describing the governing body as “antiquated” and in need of serious reform.

    Rabbatts, an FA board member and head of the organisation’s inclusion advisory panel, is the subject of an inquiry after voicing “major concerns” regarding the disciplinary process in the Carneiro case, when José Mourinho was cleared of making discriminatory comments towards the doctor.

    Related: Women in Sport calls FA inquiry into Heather Rabbatts ‘deeply disappointing’

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    • Annual report shows 2.5% increase in reported incidents of discrimination
    • Most significant figure is 18% rise in reported social media instances

    Incidents of discrimination in football are on the increase as abuse moves from the terraces to the internet, according to a report.

    Related: Brexit will increase intolerance outside our football grounds, says Lord Ouseley

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    Private criminal prosecution against former PM was blocked last year by courts giving Blair immunity against criminal charges

    The most senior judge in England and Wales will hear a case attempting to overturn a ban on prosecuting Tony Blair over the Iraq war, the Guardian has learned.

    A private criminal prosecution against the former Labour prime minister was blocked in 2016 by Westminster magistrates court when it was ruled Blair would have immunity from any criminal charges.

    Related: Tony Blair should be prosecuted over Iraq war, high court hears

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    • Herman Ouseley ‘shocked’ the response was in form of 14-word email
    • Complaint should have brought closure within days, says Kick It Out chairman

    Herman Ouseley, the chairman of Kick It Out, has described himself as “shocked” by the revelations about how Greg Clarke, one of the Football Association executives to be grilled at a parliamentary hearing over the Mark Sampson affair on Wednesday, responded to allegations that the governing body had been guilty of a cover-up.

    Ouseley said it was “disgraceful” that Clarke’s response to a six-page letter from the Professional Footballers’ Association setting out a series of allegations about two senior FA employees, as well as informing him of new complaints about Sampson and another member of staff from the England Women’s set-up, came in the form of a 14-word email.

    Related: Revealed: the 14-word email that puts FA’s Greg Clarke under fresh scrutiny

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    Anti-racist leaders give warm but cautious responses to Meghan and Harry’s ceremony

    It wasn’t just the black preacher, though Bishop Michael Curry’s fiery address evoking Martin Luther King and the misery of slavery certainly packed a punch. There was also the cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason and the spiritual – This Little Light of Mine – sung by a black gospel choir.

    There was symbolism stitched in to so many elements of the wedding service chosen by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex that spoke to her mixed-race heritage.

    Related: Is Meghan Markle the American the royals needed all along? | Hadley Freeman

    Related: Michael Curry’s royal wedding sermon will go down in history | Diana Evans

    Related: Meghan Markle's wedding was a rousing celebration of blackness | Afua Hirsch

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