FA Hopes Others Join Mission To Drive Inclusion By Signing Up For The Football Leadership Diversity Code | Football news

The Football Association is hoping that more clubs across the game will follow Southampton by joining Premier League teams to sign up for the Football Leadership Diversity Code.

On Friday, the governing body announced a new three-year strategy for equality, diversity and inclusion, “A Game For All,” which is an integral part of the FA’s long-term commitment to use its influence in English football to create a free game. discrimination.

The strategy has three key commitments: « Drive change », « Be change » and « Inspire change ». It follows on from the FA’s previous “In pursuit of progress” initiative.

As part of this plan, which ran from 2018 to 2021, more than 50 professional clubs have now committed to the Football Leadership Diversity Code, which aims to improve recruitment transparency across the game, to increase ethnic and gender representation throughout management, team operations and training. .

Eight recruiting partners and three governing bodies – the FA, the Premier League and the English Football League – have all signed up so far.

Ahead of the FA’s scheduled announcement on Friday, Southampton confirmed that they are also now on board. The club, however, have stressed that there is still work to be done, with Southampton the only top-tier team that initially chose not to join following the code’s launch in October 2020.

“Southampton can confirm that it has adhered to the FA’s Diversity Leadership Code (FLDC),” a club statement read.

“When launching in October 2020, the club felt they needed more time to understand how the revised Premier League tie standard and the FLDC would complement each other before considering revising our recruiting targets. and the processes already established.

“After the introduction of the Premier League Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Standard in 2021, the club now feel they have a better understanding of the common goals of this standard and the FLDC, which allows us to officially register with the FLDC.

“While we are attached to the FLDC, the club maintains that it could go further.

“With the club’s existing recruiting goals encompassing all roles, as opposed to leadership roles only, and also extending beyond race and gender, we look forward to engaging with the FA on this topic to broaden the objectives of
all clubs. « 

Edleen John, FA Director of International Relations, Corporate Affairs and Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Co-Partner, understands why there may still be reservations, but hopes others will eventually come on board .

“For us, we’re very clear that this was a voluntary code,” John said. “We have always understood that we may not get all the clubs in the first year.

“I think some clubs wanted to see the impact, some clubs wanted to understand what you’re trying to accomplish.

“For us, it’s about making sure that early next year we can show the progress that has been made, in the context of a global pandemic.

“We hope more clubs will want to voluntarily join us throughout this journey to be clear on their commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion. « 

John added: “We have been clear in communicating that the Football Leadership Diversity Code is not the thing that is going to govern your whole strategy, it is the starting point from which you can build.

“We would like to have as many clubs as possible on board.

“We know that we will deploy other areas of intervention in this area through the base, the National League system and the pyramid of women as well.

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Frenford & MSA Deputy Director Yasmin Hussain said there is growing interest from ethnically diverse communities in women’s and women’s football.

“We really hope that more clubs will join us on our journey and be willing to sign up for the code after we release our update and our first year report.

“I hope that once people see this and the information shared within them, maybe they will feel like they want to be a part of promoting this collective change. « 

As part of the “One Game for All” strategy, the FA’s commitment to “lead the change” will allow the governing body to continue to actively fight discrimination on and off the pitch by providing sanctions and effective education.

Further efforts will also be made to tackle online abuse, creating safe places and building confidence in reporting mechanisms and disciplinary processes for incidents of discrimination.

In the FA’s ‘A Game For All’ strategy paper, England manager Gareth Southgate said: “We want our English teams to be proud of their diversity and heritage.

“By coming together and accepting our differences, we can be stronger in football and in society. « 

As part of its ‘Be the Change’ element, the FA has also set ambitious goals for diversity targets by 2028. These include aiming for 18% of leadership roles to be filled by people from of ethnic minority communities, the current figure is eight percent.

“We recognize that there is more to do,” John said.

“At this individual organizational level, many clubs are focused on promoting this change in the same way as the rest of society.

“I can’t think of a lot of industries where I can point my finger and say, ‘they figured that out’.

“We are focusing on it. From an AF perspective, we want to continue to drive the change and work with all stakeholders to make sure it happens. « 

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