Southgate says Clarke had no alternative as England begin hunt for new FA chair

November 12 – England manager Gareth Southgate says Greg Clarke had no alternative but to resign as the Football Association’s chairman but that he tried to support racial harmony during his time in charge.

Clarke stepped down Monday after four years in the job over offensive language used when addressing a group of British parliamentarians about inclusion and diversity.

The 63-year-old issued an apology shortly after a litany of verbal gaffes including describing Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) as “coloured”.

“As he said himself, the terminology he used in a number of areas was not acceptable and doesn’t reflect the view of the FA and what we as a team stand for,” said Southgate (pictured).

“I don’t think he had any alternative than take the decision to resign.

“I have to caveat that a little bit. I think (with) Greg, what’s a shame for him in particular is that he’s done a lot of work behind the scenes to support the Diversity Code, to make a lot of inroads into relationships around Europe.”

“When we had the (racism) incidents in Montenegro and Bulgaria, he was at the forefront of supporting the players and lobbying with UEFA for change.

“Unfortunately, of course, he’s going to be remembered for the comments he’s made.

“There is a balance to that because I don’t like to see individuals suffer as publicly as he has but, I repeat, what he said wasn’t acceptable and there was no alternative but for him to go.”

The FA hopes to appoint a new chairman by the end of March 2021 after Clarke’s ignominious exit.

Peter McCormick, who chairs the FA’s professional game board, has been appointed as interim chairman and will assist chief executive Mark Bullingham in the hunt for Clarke’s permanent successor.

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