FA chief Greg Clarke sorry over racist slur and stereotyping in Government call

FA chairman Greg Clarke is facing calls to quit after landing himself in a racism storm with the Government.

Clarke was forced to apologise after using the term 'coloured footballers' in a discussion with MPs about the current crisis facing football due to Covid-19.

Clarke was facing questions from the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee when he used the word 'coloured' while addressing the issue of diversity in the game.

The FA issued a grovelling statement insisting Clarke was 'deeply apologetic' for his horrendous blunder – but critics took to social media accusing him of being a dinosaur and demanding he resign.

When asked if he wanted to withdraw what he'd said by MP Kevin Brennan, Clarke tried to blame his slip on the fact he used to work abroad.

Clarke said: "If I said it, I deeply apologise. Secondly, I am a product of having worked overseas.

"I worked in the USA for many years where I was required to use the term "people of colour" because that was a product of their diversity legislation, positive discrimination format, so sometimes I trip over my words and I deeply apologise."

An FA statement said: "Greg Clarke is deeply apologetic for the language he used to reference members of the ethnic minority community during the select committee hearing.

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"He acknowledged that using the term "coloured" is not appropriate and wholeheartedly apologise during the hearing."

His comments will heap shame and embarrassment on the FA, which has faced repeated claims of being institutionally racists.

Clarke, 63, who became FA chairman in 2016, hit out at the racist behaviour of Bulgarian fans during an England game in Sofia and described it "one of the most appalling nights" he'd ever seen.

Clarke called on UEFA to make a strong statement following previous criticism of the organisation for not doing enough to try to end racism in football – while vowing to continue the fight against discrimination in England.

DCMS committee member Alex Davies-Jones, MP, blasted Clarke and said: "The language used by Greg Clarke in our meeting this morning was absolutely abhorrent.

"It speaks volumes about the urgent progress that needs to be made in terms of leadership on equalities issues in sport. I can't believe we're still here in 2020."

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