London (AFP) – Anti-racism campaigners Kick It Out will complain to the Football Association after one of its council members made controversial comments about the involvement of “ethnic minorities” in reform of the English game’s governing body.
The FA already found itself under fire this week after the House of Commons passed a “no confidence” motion in the organisation’s ability to reform itself, with criticism its board is failing to reflect and represent the diversity of the game.
Ray Kiddell, an FA council member for 37 years, said on BBC Radio 5 Live on Friday: “When I first went on the council I was 43 and I thought ‘look at all these old, grey-haired men’.
“I soon learned that some these men had a lot to offer and it still paid you to listen to what they had to say.
“As far as ethnic minorities are concerned, we have problems, we’ve got to think ‘who are the ethnic minorities?’. At the moment, we’ve got a Buddhist and a Muslim on the council. Now who else do we put on the council, a Jew?”
Kick It Out and the Football Supporters Federation put out a joint statement condemning remarks from Kiddell.
Posted on both of the organisations’ websites, it read: “Kick It Out and the FSF are dismayed by comments made by Ray Kiddell, member of the FA council, on the issues of reform within the national game.
“These comments by a council member are indicative of the problems that are blighting the leadership of football in this country.
“It’s imperative the FA council become champions of equality.”