FIFA anti-racism chief says there is more work to be done in England
The head of FIFA’s anti-racism task force says he was left “disheartened” after meeting “demoralised” black and ethnic minority players in England.
Jeffrey Webb said many professionals believed they did not get opportunities to develop longer careers in the game.
Webb said: “The [English] game must reflect society and the community. It doesn’t do so.”
After Chris Kiwomya left Notts County by mutual consent on Sunday, there are only three black managers in the 92 clubs in the Premier League and Football League despite more than 30% of players being non-white.
FIFA vice-president Webb has previously called on English football to “look in the mirror and engage”, given what he believes is a lack of opportunity for black and ethnic minority players in terms of senior coaching, managerial and boardroom positions.
He told BBC Sport: “There’s a lot of young players coming through, I understand that more than 30% of the league is made up of people of African descent and over 71 different nationalities playing in the Premier League. But it’s not reflected, they’re not getting an opportunity.
“And many of them are becoming very demoralised and these are issues of course that we hope the FA will take on and that of the Premier League.”
The lack of black and ethnic minority coaches in the game has prompted the the Players union, the PFA, to issue a “ready-list” of qualified former players who they believe can step into vacant coaching positions.
But after what was described as a “breakthrough” meeting between the PFA and Football League chairman Greg Clarke last season, the players’ union has been left disappointed by the failure of the league to discuss its “Coaching Fair Play” initiative with clubs.