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"There's an element of xenophobia" | Gary Neville defends new PFA CEO

After it was confirmed earlier this week that Maheta Molango has been chosen as the new CEO of th...


"There's an element of xenophobia" | Gary Neville defends new PFA CEO

After it was confirmed earlier this week that Maheta Molango has been chosen as the new CEO of the PFA, Gary Neville has shared his disappointment with how the news has been greeted by certain members of the British media. 

Citing what he perceives as a 'xenophobic' reaction to Molango's selection, Neville stated via his Instagram account why the former Brighton & Hove Albion player deserved better treatment.

"I stand here today have read, listened and watched over the last few days the reporting in respect of the new candidate," he explained, "and let's be clear, it is disparaging.

"There's an element of xenophobia about it, there are negative undertones and it is clear that football is resisting this appointment."


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Set to replace Gordon Taylor, the occasionally controversial CEO of the PFA for the last 40 years, Molango's selection came as a result of a recruitment process conducted by an independent advisory panel.

Nevertheless, the Swiss national Molango was an unexpected choice for the role.

Understood to have been the outstanding candidate in the application process, the PFA confirmed in a statement announcing the appointment that Molango was "unanimously approved."

At 38, Molango will not only lead one of the most powerful bodies in English football, he will do so as one of the most senior black figures in the game.

"[Football] is resisting this appointment through feeding journalists with negative information about the candidate," asserted Neville, "what he can't do, why he shouldn't be there, [how] the process was wrong.

"This is actually the first time that there has probably been a truly independent process within English football around the appointment of a CEO."

Adamant that Molango deserves a fair chance at carrying out the role, the former Manchester United captain believes that his status as an outsider does not endear him to certain figures within football.

"Because he is not someone they know," said Neville, "because he is not someone they thought they could manipulate, that they can get to, they don't like it.

"It is really clear for me. This candidate has the skills set, he is representative of the membership and before he even gets in seat it is almost as if it has been determined whether he is good enough or not.

"It is critical that the members of the PFA and the associated staff get behind their new CEO and make sure there is a great transition."

To conclude, Gary Neville called for patience and for all concerned parties to give Maheta Molango the time he needs to settle into the role.

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England Gary Neville Manchester United PFA Professional Footballers Association