Thursday, 24 December 2020

Grant to apply for FA chair


Sport England board member Chris Grant said he will apply for the position of Football Association (FA) chairman to succeed Greg Clarke who resigned last month, The Times reported.

The FA has appointed a seven-member panel tasked with identifying a replacement for Clarke, who left his role after referring to players from the BAME community as "coloured" during questions from members of parliament.

The 58-year-old Grant, one of the most senior black administrators in British sport, said the time had come for a "generational shift" in the leadership of sport.

"I'm going public now because, whatever happens with this process, football and sport are too important not to try to make our best contribution," Grant told the newspaper.

"... It's not just about age but understanding and attitude. We need to be more vocal about how we can use sport to get out of the hole we are in as a country right now."

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.

However, Clarke's outdated terminology had led to outrage amongst anti-racism organisations and players.

"When football is at its best, it's a really positive force for good. Too often it's fragmented and working against itself. My vision is of a unified game," Grant said.

"My vision is of football thriving but also contributing to thriving communities in these difficult times. I'm an optimist. I believe we can find the right balance."

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