Guidance has been issued to match officials on religious headscarf offenses after Sky Sports and former referee Jarnail Singh expressed concern over an incident involving a Sikh-Punjabi footballer.
In a Spartan South Midlands League match at the start of January, Langford FC midfielder Charan Basra was shown a second yellow card for his reaction when an opposing player appeared to pull on his shin, which many Sikhs believed was offensive. The source is the religious head covering worn.
The referee was not watching the actual incident, but it caused a stir on Twitter in the days after it was initially shared online by the social media handle. @UB1UB2.
In Sky Sports’ British South Asians Football Lead Dev Trihan took up the matter directly with English league football’s first turbaned referee, Jarnail Singh, who refereed more than 150 matches across the divisions between 2004 and 2010.
Less than 48 hours ago, the general had seen his youngest son. Bhupinder Singh Gul Make history as the first Sikh-Punjabi to play the role of assistant referee for a Premier League game Sky Sports News broke the story exclusively in December.
Eldest son of General Sunny Singh Gul, The country’s highest-ranking match referees are of South Asian heritage.
Jarnell liaised directly with colleagues from the Referees Association, the FA Refereeing Department and the FA Referees Committee, offering insight into the importance and significance that Sikhs place on religious head coverings such as turbans and patkas.
Just a fortnight after initiating contact with the refereeing authorities about the matter, Sky Sports News can exclusively reveal that match officials across the country have now been issued with specific guidance on such incidents.
Match officials have been told that a head covering such as a patka or turban is considered a religious article of faith. Unauthorized touching should be considered an offensive action under Law 12 of the FA Handbook relating to fouls and misconduct.
If seen, the offense should be punished by a mandatory red card and considered a breach of S6 – Offensive, insulting and/or abusive language and or conduct.
General said Sky Sports News: “I am very happy that we were able to contribute to educating and improving the South Asian and Sikh communities in football.
“It’s a great example of everyone’s cooperation and support, particularly the FA Referees’ Committee and the Head of the FA Referees’ Department.
“It’s a real pleasure to work with Dev, Sky Sports, the Football Association and the refereeing family to help promote equality and inclusion for diverse ethnic communities in football.”
Tarhan said Sky Sports News: “Jarneel is a Sikh-Punjabi trailblazer and a British South Asian in football. To work with him on such a task and to produce such a positive result is a joy and happiness for everyone involved in the ‘beautiful game’.” “It’s a moment to enjoy. I’m sure Langford FC midfielder Charan Basra, a great role model himself, will be very pleased with the result.”
“Credit must go to everyone involved in this process, as well as @UB1UB2 and the Sikh Press Association for making it happen, and our digital teams and output editors at Sky Sports News for our real game changers around the UK. to continue supporting the work of South Asians in football.”
Singh: A great day for English football
Apna England Official Supporters Group Spokesperson Mickey Singh said this Sky Sports News: “It feels unprecedented and it offers a sense of freedom and security to Sikhs and every footballer who wears the patka who has ever been involved in the game.
“I can’t explain what it feels like to know that if my grandson makes it to the elite game, he will be afforded a level of protection and respect for his faith.
“This is a watershed moment for Sikhs, a game changer for British South Asians, and a great day for English football.
This was said by Preet Kaur Gill, the country’s first Sikh woman MP. Sky Sports News: “It is clear that there is still some way to go in terms of education and understanding around the subjects of Sikhism.
“Respect for people of all religions and of any faith is really important on and off the field. It is important for the football authorities to address this, so that we do not see incidents like this going forward. “
British South Asians in football
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