On Tuesday, the Football Association (FA) released a statement which confirmed that Greg Clarke resigned as chairman of the board following a remark he made to lawmakers about Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) players. Clarke faced heaps of criticism after using the term "coloured" to describe BAME footballers and was later forced to apologise for his comments. The incident took place in front of MPs who are part of the British parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee (DCMS).
Only hours after the incident took place, Greg Clarke announced his decision to step down as FA chairman immediately. Clarke issued an apology of his own and justified that his inadvertent reference was a "slip of the tongue". Clarke went on to state that he put the interest of football first and was deeply saddened that he offended a diverse community of football that he was wanting to include in the game for a long time.
We can confirm that Greg Clarke has stepped down from his role as our chairman.— The FA (@FA) November 10, 2020
Peter McCormick will step into the role as interim FA Chairman with immediate effect and the FA Board will begin the process of identifying and appointing a new chair in due course.
The English businessman was appointed as the head of the FA in September 2016. The FA also confirmed that Peter McCormick will step into the role as interim FA Chairman with immediate effect and the board has already begun the process of identifying a new Chairman, with the candidate soon to be revealed. The FA added that it was doing everything possible to promote diversity, address inequality, and tackle all forms of discrimination in the game.
“If you go to the IT Department of the FA, there’s a lot more south Asians than there are Afro-Caribbeans. They have different career interests.”— Dan Roan (@danroan) November 10, 2020
FA Chairman Greg Clarke speaking to the @CommonsDCMS today: pic.twitter.com/ZIVDJ6Cj1M
While speaking in a meeting with the British parliamentary committee, Greg Clarke used the term "coloured" to describe BAME players. Clarke was questioned by the committee about the possibility of a social media backlash for gay footballers ‘coming out’, but responded by stating that the platform is a free-for-all arena.
However, while describing BAME players, Clarke deemed them as "coloured" footballers. Members of the Parliament promptly pulled up Clarke and asked for an explanation on the usage of the phrase. Clarke issued a long-winded apology immediately and said that he was working overseas where he was often using the word "coloured" which is why it slipped out. Premier League chief Richard Masters and EFL boss Rick Parry were also part of the meeting.