Sports officials have been given guidance on cases involving religious attire after Sky Sports and former referee Jarnail Singh raised concerns about the incident involving a Sikh-Punjabi footballer.
During a Spartan South Midlands League match in early January, Langford FC midfielder Charan Basra received a second yellow card for his actions after an opposing player was seen pulling on the patka, a religious head covering worn by many Sikhs.
The judge appeared to be oblivious to the incident, but it caused quite a stir on Twitter in the days that followed after it was shared online. @UB1UB2.
Sky Sports’ UK South Asian Football Director Dev Trehan addressed the issue directly with the first white referee with a disability, Jarnail Singh, who officiated over 150 games across the board between 2004 and 2010.
Less than 48 hours earlier, Jarnail had seen his youngest son Bhupinder Singh Gill make history as the first Sikh-Punjabi to become the second assistant in a Premier League game – after all. Sky Sports news broke the news in December.
Jarnail’s eldest son, Sunny Singh Gill, is South Asia’s highest-ranking referee.
Jarnail directly contacted the staff of the Referees’ Association, the FA administration department and the FA Referees’ Committee, and provided information on the importance and importance of Sikhs wearing religious headgear such as turbans and patkas.
Two days after contacting the management about the matter, Sky Sports news can reveal match officials across the country have now been given instructions on such incidents.
Match officials are told that a head covering such as a patka or turban is considered a religious matter. Touching someone without permission should be considered an offense under Rule 12 of the FA Handbook which deals with fouls and fouls.
The offense should be punishable by an official red card if seen and should be considered a breach of S6 – using abusive, insulting and/or abusive words or actions.
Jarnail said Sky Sports News: “I am very happy that we have helped to educate and improve the understanding of South Asian and Sikh communities in football.
“This is a great example of cooperation and collaboration from everyone involved, especially the chairman of the FA Referees’ Committee and the FA Referees’ Department.
“It’s great to come together with Dev, Sky Sports, the Football Association and the refereeing family to help promote equality and diversity in football.”
Trehan said Sky Sports News: “Jarnail is a Sikh-Punjabi trailblazer and British South Asians in Football icon. To work with him on something like this and deliver such a great result is a moment of gratitude and joy for everyone associated with ‘The Beautiful Game’. I am sure that Langford FC player, Charan Basra, who is a good role model too, will be very happy about this.
“Credit must go to all those involved and @UB1UB2 and the Sikh Press Association for pushing this forward, and our digital teams and editors at Sky Sports News for continuing to support our mission to change the game in Britain. South Asians in Football.”
Singh: A great day for English football
Apna England spokesperson Micky Singh said Sky Sports News: “This seems unprecedented and gives freedom and protection to Sikhs and every footballer wearing a patka who has ever played in the game.
“I can’t describe how it feels to know that my grandson will now be given protection and respect for his faith if he makes it to the top level.
“This is a huge milestone for the Sikhs, a game-changer for British South Asia, and a great day for English football.
The country’s first Sikh woman MP, Preet Kaur Gill, said Sky Sports News: “It is clear that there is another way to go in terms of education and understanding around the issues of the Sikh faith.
“Respect for all people of all religions and faiths is very important on and off the field. It is important that the football authorities deal with this, so that we do not see incidents like this going forward.”
British South Asians in Football
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