Women in Football (WiF) have announced they've received a 397.2 percent increase in reported sex discrimination and harassment incidents in a 12 month period.
WiF is a UK based network of professional women working in and around the football industry who support and champion their peers and recently announced the 'What If' campaign.
They've had a total of 271 incidents reported to them over the 2017/18 season which has seen an increase of 285.4 percent in discrimination or harassment on social media, 112.5 percent in the workplace and 133.3 percent on matchdays.
Comments of a sexual nature, racist, gendered remarks and threats of violence have also been made to a number of high profile female journalists, broadcasters, players and referees.
“The significant increase in the number of sexist reports received by Women in Football is of concern, but sadly, not a great surprise," WiF chair Anna Kessel said.
“What is clear is that this is just the tip of the iceberg; for every offensive tweet or comment posted and reported to us, there are dozens that aren’t," she said.
This report shows a correlation with the 2017 FIFPro Women Football Global Employment Report which shows players experienced sexual harassment (3.5%), racism (4.5%), homophobia (5.4%) and gender discrimination (17.5%).
The report is based on 3,500 player interviews in 30+ countries.
FIFPro also suggests that numbers could be higher as discrimination and harassment is not always reported.
In the majority of cases, players experienced the above from fans on match days, with sexual harassment experienced by most players from coaching staff.
“Football should be a safe, welcoming and positive environment for girls and women to work in, play in, watch games and be able to have an opinion about without being abused," Kessel said.
We hope that governing bodies, employers and footballing role models will help us to spread this message," she said.