English FA launches new diversity code

London (AFP) –


England's governing Football Association (FA) unveiled a new diversity code on Tuesday in the hope of ensuring more ethnic minority candidates land senior jobs within the sport.

The Football Leadership Diversity Code will ask clubs to achieve targets in both coaching positions and significant management roles.

Although the new code is currently voluntary, 42 clubs from across the Premier League, English Football League, Women's Super League and Women's Championship have signed up to its provisions.

Former Chelsea and Celtic defender Paul Elliott, head of the FA's inclusion advisory board, said: "Many clubs are already doing good work in this area and we have been pleased to see football stand together this year to challenge the injustice we are seeing in society.

"However, positive and tangible action is required to drive change and take the next step."

Under the code, clubs will be expected to make 15 percent of new executive positions available to people from minority backgrounds.

Gender diversity is also part of the code, with 30 percent of new appointments in senior leadership positions to be female candidates.

Meanwhile women's football clubs will be expected to have at leats 50 percent female coaching staffs.

In men's professional football, 25 percent of new hires will be of black, Asian or mixed heritage.

If applicants meeting the job specifications apply, interview shortlists will need to have at least one male and one female black, Asian or of mixed-heritage candidate.

The code aims to increase equality of opportunity for non-white and female candidates, amid concerns they are unfairly discriminated against within the game at the moment.

But it aims to do so through hiring targets rather than by the imposition of strict quotas.

Players in the Premier League and Football League have been taking a knee before matches in support of the Black Lives Matter movement since the sport resumed amid the coronavirus pandemic.