September 20, 2021

White: FA can promote diversity with Clarke successor

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Ellen White believes the Football Association has a ‘massive opportunity’ to promote diversity throughout English football with their appointment of the next FA chair.

Current incumbent Greg Clarke resigned on Tuesday after making a number of offensive remarks before a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee, which included using the word “coloured” to describe black players.

While England striker White is in no doubt Clarke was right to step down after his ‘unacceptable’ comments, she also urged the organisation used the situation to bring about positive change.

Greg Clarke 0:40
Former England forward Lianne Sanderson says the lack of diversity around former FA chairman Greg Clarke contributed to him losing his job

“It was the right decision for him to step down and we have to look to the future now of educating and moving forward to eradicate these comments,” White said.

“It’s all about being educated, even when you are at the top, and also throughout football, the grassroots, and everyone, the way that we speak.

“I think it is a massive opportunity to highlight more diversity within the whole FA.

“It will be a really important appointment, who comes in next. But I think it will be really, really important to have more diversity in the whole FA really.”

The FA’s head of women’s football Baroness Sue Campbell is among the names to have been reported as contenders to succeed Clarke, who has also stepped down from his role as a FIFA vice-president.

Paul Elliott, chairman of the FA’s inclusion advisory board, and Bobby Barnes, the deputy chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association, are two others being mentioned.

Casey Stoney, Man Utd Women's manager 0:44
Manchester United Women head coach Casey Stoney says the comments made by Clarke show ‘how much work we’ve still got to do’ regarding diversity in English football

Greg Clarke resigns: Is this an opportunity for the FA?

By Bryan Swanson

Greg Clarke’s sudden resignation from the Football Association comes during a global crisis.

On Tuesday, Clarke apologised and resigned as FA chairman in the wake of referring to black footballers as “coloured” while giving evidence to MPs.

Clarke used the phrase when answering a question around the difficulty of gay players in the men’s game coming out because of social media backlash during a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee meeting on Tuesday.

In the midst of a deadly pandemic, with the game losing £100m per month, the FA needs stable leadership more than ever.

Watch The Women’s Football Show on Sky Sports Football every Friday from 6pm.