Clarke to leave Federation Internationale de Football Association vice-president post after resignation as FA chairman

Tanya Simon
November 12, 2020

The chair of England's Football Association, Greg Clarke, has resigned after referring to "coloured footballers" and saying being gay is a "life choice" in front of parliament.

The FA promptly released a statement on the matter, which read: "Greg Clarke is deeply apologetic for the language he used to reference members of the ethnic minority community during the select committee hearing today".

Mr Clarke apologised after he used the word "coloured " when talking about black footballers before a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee meeting but has since chose to resign from his position, which he has held since 2016.

Greg Clarke (L) presents an award to England's Wayne Rooney (C) prior to the latter's last game for England at an worldwide friendly match with the Wembley Stadium in London, UK, November 15, 2018.

In 2018 the FA launched its Pursuit of Progress initiative, aimed at increasing the diversity of those playing, officiating, coaching, leading and governing English football.

"His use of obsolete language to explain Asian and Black people as colored' is from years past and ought to remain consigned to the dustbin of history", said Sanjay Bhandari, the executive seat of anti-discrimination team Kick It Out.

"I am deeply saddened that I have offended those diverse communities in football that I and others worked so hard to include".

Peter McCormick has been unanimously elected to the role, becoming the first person to have been chairman of both the Premier League and the FA.

"What they set up a couple of weeks ago (new diversity code) was quite specific and it was bold, and it had to be, so I commend people like Paul Elliott at the FA and all the people working at the FA".

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Clarke apologised and said that he sometimes trips over his words because he worked in the USA for many years, where he used the term "people of colour".

But others said Clarke's comments jeopardized the FA's place over problems like racism, diversity, and representation.

"If you go to the IT department at the FA there's a lot more South Asians than there are Afro-Caribbeans", he continued.

"We're not necessarily asking for the next chairman or chief to be black", Aston Villa's Mings said.

"I can't believe we're still here in 2020", she said.

"If I look at what happens to high-profile female footballers, to high-profile colored footballers, and the abuse they take on social media. social media is a free-for-all", Clarke said.

"So the opportunities to be equal, the candidates themselves to be rightly qualified for the job because I don't think anyone would want the job, whether you were black or white if you weren't qualified for it and weren't equipped to be successful in that role".

"He is, of course, free to resign from the FIFA Council, just as he has resigned as chairman of the FA", FIFA said.

"They have different career interests, so what we have to do is treat each individual on their merits but make sure we are inclusive and our programs which don't cross the line into possible discrimination".

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