Nov 11, 2020

The Football Association has been urged to make fundamental changes in its approach to diversity issues following the resignation of Greg Clarke over harmful, archaic and deeply offensive remarks.
Former Manchester United star Andy Cole says the governing body must forget about token gestures and illustrate its commitment to making progress following the controversy stirred by Clarkes comments.
The 63-year-old apologised after he used the word coloured to describe black players and insinuated that being gay was a life choice, during a video link appearance before a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee.
Andy Cole has called on the FA to illustrate progress on diversity issues (Phil Noble/PA Archive)
Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Cole said: He was in a position to know that the word ‘coloured is not a word to be used, and he has lost his job now due to that.
But we keep talking about diversity, now hopefully we will continue toprogress and keep moving forward and doing the right things.
I just shake my head and I just laugh, because him being in that position hes supposed to be better – hes fighting the cause for diversity.
We can confirm that Greg Clarke has stepped down from his role as our chairman.— The FA (@FA) November 10, 2020
We used to wear t-shirts once a year or whatever it was, thats just not enough. Thats how I feel about it. When I talk about progression, it means we have to progress.
Clarkes comments were branded harmful, archaic and deeply offensive by a host of anti-discrimination groups.
Clarke was also condemned for saying that black and South Asian people had different career interests from each other, and drew complaints for saying a womens coach had told him that the lack of womens goalkeepers was due to girls not liking the ball being kicked at them.
The FA announced Clarkes resignation early on Tuesday evening and Kick It Out chair Sanjay Bhandari welcomed the swift action taken.
Bhandari said on Sky Sports News: We are not just talking about anybody here, we are talking about the leader of our national game on a really major strategic issue for the FA, which is driving greater diversity and inclusion, making everyone feel they belong in the game.
These were archaic attitudes which were really revealing themselves in comment after comment – a well-briefed chair or CEO would know exactly how to navigate that.
It is not as if this is the first time, there have been previous incidents – like referring to institutional racism as ‘fluff.
Our response to comments made today by Greg Clarke at the DCMS Select Committee 👇🏽 pic.twitter.com/uZ7Iep4PMt— Kick It Out (@kickitout) November 10, 2020
What it shows is there is an attitude underlying which is really not the right attitude to be leading the English game.
The FA finds itself embroiled in new controversy just two weeks after it launched a new diversity code, which aims to ensure more candidates from ethnic minorities can land top jobs.
In 2017, former England forward Lianne Sanderson gave evidence alongside Eniola Aluko at a parliamentary inquiry into allegations of racism within the game during which Clarke was criticised for describing the accusations as fluff.
Eniola Aluko answered questions in front of a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee in 2017 (PA)
Sanderson believes Tuesdays developments show how much work there is still to be done on the drive for equality.
I often question how these people get into these positions in the first place, and then we wonder why racism and homophobia is on the rise, Sanderson told Sky Sports News.
In announcing Clarkes departure, the FA said: We would also like to reaffirm that as an organisation, we are absolutely committed to doing everything we can to promote diversity, address inequality, and tackle all forms of discrimination in the game.
The FA is yet to set out the process for the appointment of his successor, but the preferred candidate would need to be approved by the FA Council.
Compelling evidence again yesterday as to why an independent regulator is required for Football. Football cannot govern itself!— Gary Neville (@GNev2) November 11, 2020
Clarke is also one of three FIFA vice-presidents representing UEFA and reports on Tuesday night suggested he will step away from that role too.
Coles former Manchester United team-mate Gary Neville called for a fundamental overhaul over the governance of the game.
Neville tweeted: Compelling evidence again yesterday as to why an independent regulator is required for football. Football cannot govern itself!