Prince William Writes to Youth Soccer Club That Faced Racism: 'Abuse Has No Place in Our Society'

The Prince of Wales told Alpha United Juniors he's contacted The Football Association about the claims

Prince William
Photo: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

Prince William is sending support to a youth soccer club that has experienced racism on the field.

Sky News reports that the Prince of Wales, 40, sent a letter to Alpha United Juniors in Bradford, England, saying he was "deeply concerned" about the situation. According to the outlet, William confirmed he's contacted The Football Association (FA), the governing body of soccer in England, about the claims, after the chair of Alpha United reached out to Kensington Palace about feeling frustrated with the local FA chapter's investigation.

"Racism and abuse has no place in our society. Abhorrent behaviour of this nature must stop now and all those responsible be held to account," William wrote to Alpha United Juniors, per Sky News. Prince William has served as president of the FA since 2005.

Sky News reported that Mohammed Waheed, chair of Alpha United, wrote to the palace in January, and Prince William sent the letter last month. The outlet said that the club first spoke out in November, "revealing how for years players as young as seven, have been on the receiving end of slurs and even threats of violence from the sidelines."

Since coming forward, Waheed told Sky News reporter Shingi Mararike that about 40 other clubs have contacted him to share similar experiences.

"When we've been going out, obviously playing other teams who have been minority ethnic, they've all said the same thing — 'Can't believe you've done that, but good on you guys,' " he said in a segment.

In a statement, local chapter West Riding FA said that Alpha United did not comply with all necessary steps of the investigation.

"We strongly condemn all forms of discrimination and we will always do our utmost to hold perpetrators to account," a spokesperson told Sky News. "In order for us to gather evidence, raise charges, and issue sanctions against perpetrators, we require witnesses to engage with our judicial process. Despite our best efforts, the club did not support this process."

Despite the disagreement, Naz Shah, the Member of Parliament for Bradford West, said that it was due time for the FA to intervene.

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"You've got a child being called [offensive] names, that is not okay for anybody in society, there is no place for racism," Shah told the outlet. "We have made pledges and to show racism the red card, where are those pledges when it comes to grassroots football?"

Prince William has previously denounced racism in soccer at the game's highest level. In July 2021, he spoke out after Team England players Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho were deluged with online attacks after they missed penalty kicks that helped secure Italy's win in the Euro 2020 final.

"I am sickened by the racist abuse aimed at England players after last night's match. It is totally unacceptable that players have to endure this abhorrent behaviour. It must stop now and all those involved should be held accountable," William said in a statement on social media, signing "W" to signify that it was a personal message and not something from his office at Kensington Palace.

Prince William attended the match with wife Kate Middleton and their son Prince George, 9. The family's excitement at an early goal that gave England the lead was short-lived as the team lost by missing the last kick of the game.

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