Close sidebar

FA chairman Greg Clarke steps down after ‘coloured footballers’ comment

Clarke made the comments in front of a parliamentary committee.

Greg Clarke has resigned as chairman of the Football Association after referring to “coloured footballers” while giving evidence to a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee meeting.

Clarke used the phrase while answering a question on the difficulties facing gay footballers coming out because of social media backlash.

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

Clarke was prompted by MP Kevin Brennan to apologise and also offered an expanded apology on Tuesday prior to announcing his resignation.

The 63-year-old will be replaced by Peter McCormick on an interim basis.

“My unacceptable words in front of parliament were a disservice to our game and to those who watch, play, referee and administer it,” said Clarke.

“This has crystallised my resolve to move on.

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

“I would like to thank my friends and colleagues in the game for the wisdom and counsel they have shared over the years and resign from the FA with immediate effect.”

Greg Clarke

Clarke’s comments caused outrage, with Sanjay Bhandari, the executive chair at Kick It Out, labelling them ‘completely unacceptable’.

“I was particularly concerned by the use of lazy racist stereotypes about South Asians and their supposed career preferences,” said Bhandari.

“It reflects similar lazy stereotypes I have heard have been spouted at club academy level.

“Being gay is not a ‘life choice’ as he claimed too. The casual sexism of saying ‘girls’ do not like balls hit at them hard, is staggering from anyone, let alone the leader of our national game.

“It is completely unacceptable.”

Read More About: ,