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Rooney Rule adopted by England soccer teams in diversity bid

AP  |  London 

Since the job was created 72 years ago, every of the men's team has been white.

When a successor to is eventually required, at least one black or ethnic minority candidate is set to be interviewed.

Drawing inspiration from the NFL, the English Association announced yesterday it had adopted its version of the Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview a diverse pool of candidates for coaching and management positions.

"It is the right thing to do but there is also a business case for it," chief executive said while overlooking the pitch at

"If your management team reflects more the people that you are serving then you're going to make correct decisions."


The FA's covers jobs across all 28 national teams organized under the flag, including youth and disability squads for men and women. Currently, only one is black: Kevin Betsy, who runs the men's under-15s.

The women's team was led into the 2007 and 2011 World Cups by Hope Powell, who is black. The team currently requires a new

The FA's push to foster greater diversity follows a damaging row last year around the women's team involving allegations of racism and sex discrimination by striker Eni Aluko, which led to a parliamentary hearing.

Former was found to have racially discriminated against two of his players, while goalkeeping left his role after addressing Aluko using a mock accent.

"I think culturally what women will be prepared to put up with has been a bit different from guys," Glenn said. "I guess banter would be a case in point."

After becoming embroiled in a public row with Aluko, the has sought to heal the rifts by consulting the Chelsea player particularly about new whistleblowing procedures. The hopes black and minority ethnic (BAME) players would feel more comfortable reporting grievances if the staff on teams was more diverse.

"It's all about improving performance by making the England players feel like the setup is more inclusive," Glenn said.

At least one BAME candidate will be interviewed for all future jobs around the national teams if they have the right qualifications and experience.

"What we're seeing now is more BAME players," Glenn said, "and what we want to do is make sure that post their playing career there's an opportunity for them to carry on contributing, and that they feel the FA is also for them."

English football's group, Out, praised the FA for delivering a "watershed moment" it hopes will spur a wider push to promote BAME coaches. Chris Hughton at Brighton is the only in the 20-team

The People's Think Tank reported in November that 22 of 482 coaching roles across 92 clubs in the top four professional leagues in England were held by BAME coaches.

"We look forward to working with the FA and the other authorities to bring about the changes necessary to make the game inclusive for all," Out said.

The was named after campaigning Pittsburgh Steelers Dan Rooney, who died last year.

"The on its own isn't enough," Glenn said. "All the other programs about building the pipeline of talented young BAME coaches is also important at the same time.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, January 10 2018. 10:25 IST
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