Greg Clarke resigns from FIFA role after discriminatory comments

Former English FA chairman resigns after making a series of ‘unacceptable’ comments related to race and LGBTQ issues.

Former English FA chairman Greg Clarke [File: Carl Recine/Reuters]

Former English Football Association chairman Greg Clarke resigned from his role as a FIFA vice president on Thursday, two days after he left the FA over a series of offensive remarks.

Clarke quit his role at the English football governing body on Tuesday after making a series of “unacceptable” comments to a British parliamentary committee, including referring to “coloured footballers” while discussing Black players.

The 63-year-old was also criticised for describing being gay as a “life choice” in the comments to the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, for referring to the “different career interests” of people from ethnic minorities and for controversial remarks about girls’ football.

Clarke said young girls were often put off playing the game because they did not want to be hit hard by footballs.

European football’s governing body UEFA said in a statement on Thursday: “Following a telephone call this morning between the UEFA president [Aleksander Ceferin] and Greg Clarke, they agreed with Greg Clarke’s proposal that he should step down with immediate effect from his position as a UEFA representative on the FIFA Council.”

England boss Gareth Southgate said on Wednesday that Clarke had “no alternative” but to step down from the FA, while former England women’s football captain Casey Stoney added the comments were “completely unacceptable”.

The FA appointed Peter McCormick as interim chairman following Clarke’s departure, and said it hoped to appoint a new chairman by the end of March.

Paul Elliott, the chairman of the FA’s inclusion advisory board, and Bobby Barnes, the deputy chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association, have been mooted as strong contenders.

Source: News Agencies