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FA chair Greg Clarke resigns following offensive Committee comments

FA chairman Greg Clarke has resigned.  The news comes hours after a disastrous appearance in fro...



FA chair Greg Clarke resigns f...
Soccer

FA chair Greg Clarke resigns following offensive Committee comments

FA chairman Greg Clarke has resigned. 

The news comes hours after a disastrous appearance in front of a Digital, Culture, Media, Sport parliamentary committee on Tuesday.

He used the term "coloured footballers" while answering questions from MPs.

The former Leicester City chairman was appointed Football Association chair in 2016, and also serves as a FIFA vice president.

His comments drew criticism from anti-racism group Kick It Out, as well as LGBT advocacy group, Stonewall.

In a statement via the FA on Tuesday evening, Clarke said he'd been actively considering standing down prior to his Parliamentary Committee appearance.

He added, "My unacceptable words in front of Parliament were a disservice to our game and to those who watch, play, referee and administer it.

"This has crystallised my resolve to move on."

Clarke referred to homosexuality being a "life choice", saying, "Anyone who runs out onto the pitch and on Monday says 'I am gay, I am proud of it and I am happy and it's a life choice and I have made it and my life is a better place because I have disclosed it'... I do believe they would have the support of their mates in the changing room."

The 63-year old also claimed a lack of Asian footballers was down to different priorities in the community, telling MPs, "If you go to the IT department at the FA, there's a lot more South Asians than there are Afro-Caribbeans.

"They have different career interests."

Clarke later apologised, with an FA spokesperson saying, "Greg Clarke is deeply apologetic for the language he used to reference members of the ethnic minority community during the select committee hearing today.

"He acknowledged that using the term ‘coloured’ is not appropriate and wholeheartedly apologised during the hearing."

Greg Clarke statement:

As a person who loves football and has given decades of service to our game, it is right that I put the interests of football first.

2020 has been a challenging year and I have been actively considering standing down for some time to make way for a new Chair now our CEO transition is complete and excellent executive leadership under Mark Bullingham is established. 

My unacceptable words in front of Parliament were a disservice to our game and to those who watch, play, referee and administer it. 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.

‘I think about it a lot and say, ‘Please God not me!” | Dementia in footballers | Tony Cascarino | OTB AM

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