Monday 11 December 2017

Liverpool staff given list of banned words

Carl Markham

Liverpool have issued their staff with guidelines detailing unacceptable words and phrases in a bid to eradicate discrimination in the stands at Anfield.

The club have produced a handbook which highlights common slurs against race, religion, sexual orientation, gender and disability which the club want to stamp out.

Included on the list of unwelcome phrases are insults like 'Don't be a woman', 'Play like a girl' and 'That's gay'.

Liverpool's players receive their own guidance as part of a separate Premier League programme, and this latest move forms part of a wide-ranging programme to help other club employees identify discriminatory language that may be used by supporters on match days.

"As part of the club's continued commitment to tackle all forms of discrimination, as well as promoting its approach to equality and diversity, Liverpool FC has been actively engaged in a full club-wide education and awareness programme," Liverpool's social inclusion officer Rishi Jain said.

"This programme includes interactive workshops and a handbook which is designed to provide information on the latest equality legislation including information relating to what terminology is deemed as both acceptable and unacceptable.

"This programme of awareness enables our employees to recognise inappropriate language and take the necessary steps to ensure Anfield is free from all forms of discrimination.

"Liverpool has been actively working with Kick it Out, Show Racism the Red Card and the Anthony Walker Foundation for many years and has been recognised externally for its contribution to helping tackle discrimination and promote Anfield as an inclusive and welcoming environment.

"The club has already attained Kick it Out's equality standard preliminary level and has recently submitted its application for the equality standard intermediate level demonstrating its continued commitment."

With the squad returning from their tour of Australia and Asia this week it is likely the focus will soon again be on Luis Suarez, for whom the club have rejected a £40million plus £1 bid from Arsenal.

However, former Reds winger John Barnes believes the club cannot afford to delay and should offload the 26-year-old as soon as possible.

"We've seen in the past when transfers go down to the last minute that it doesn't help anybody, especially for a club like Liverpool who, if they lose Suarez, would have to find a big-name replacement," he told talkSPORT.

"I'd like it to be done sooner rather than later because if it goes down to the last day, and you then have to go and get somebody, it's not ideal.

"As far as Suarez is concerned, if he's not going to be happy, then he has to go.

"We can all say, 'Yes, we think Suarez is going to be a player like Carlos Tevez, who gives 100 per cent no matter what' but we don't know what his mental state is going to be if he doesn't get his wish (to leave Liverpool)."

Having brought in four new signings already, manager Brendan Rodgers could be set for more changes with out-of-favour centre-back Martin Skrtel linked with Napoli.

He would become the second player to be reunited with former Reds boss Rafael Benitez after goalkeeper Jose Reina signed on a season-long loan.

Central defence is an area Rodgers has been looking to strengthen ever since he became aware Jamie Carragher was to retire at the end of last season.

Skrtel had already lost his place by then and although Rodgers has brought in Kolo Toure on a free transfer this summer, he has been heavily linked with both Schalke's Kyriakos Papadopoulos and Ajax's Toby Alderweireld.

While it appeared he had walked away from a deal for Papadopoulos after being quoted £19million for the 21-year-old, it appears a move could be resurrected.

The club are also interested in a move, initially a loan, for Benfica's Lorenzo Melgarejo, who can operate on the left side of defence or midfield.

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