FA chairman Greg Clarke has resigned after a parliamentary appearance in which he made a series of inappropriate remarks about women, gay, and minority ethnic people involved in football.
Following a furious backlash to Clarke’s comments, the FA announced after an emergency meeting of its board that Clarke would be leaving the position he has held since 2017 immediately.
Clarke, 63, also holds a role as a vice-president at the international governing body FIFA.
Clarke had been summoned in front of the digital, culture, media and sport select committee to discuss his involvement in the controversial Project Restart.
But in giving evidence via video link, Clarke voiced several offensive stereotypes, claiming that South Asians and Afro-Caribbean people have ‘different career interests’ on the basis of the make-up of the FA’s IT department, as well as describing homosexuality as a ‘life choice’.
Clarke offered an apology soon afterwards after being prompted to do so by Kevin Brennan MP, which was later expanded on by an FA spokesperson.
But this was not enough to assuage the anger and embarrassment of staff at Wembley and from people within and ourside football community with several players, ex-players and rights advocates expressing disappointment with his comments.
In a statement, the FA said: ”We can confirm that Greg Clarke has stepped down from his role as our chairman. Peter McCormick will step into the role as interim FA Chairman with immediate effect and the FA Board will begin the process of identifying and appointing a new chair in due course.”
Clarke released his own statement apologising for any offence he might have committed due to his inappropriate words.
“My unacceptable words in front of parliament were a disservice to our game and to those who watch, play, referee and administer it,” said Clarke on Tuesday evening.
“This has crystallised my resolve to move on. I am deeply saddened that I have offended those diverse communities in football that I and others worked so hard to include. I would like to thank my friends and colleagues in the game for the wisdom and counsel they have shared over the years and resign from the FA with immediate effect.”
The FA added: “Peter McCormick will step into the role as interim FA chairman with immediate effect and the FA Board will begin the process of identifying and appointing a new chair in due course.”