Greg Clarke has resigned as FA chairman in the wake of referring to BAME footballers as “coloured” while giving evidence to MPs.
The FA confirmed Clarke’s departure on Tuesday and said Peter McCormick would be stepping in as interim FA chairman with immediate effect as they “begin the process of identifying and appointing a new chair in due course”.
Clarke said he “put the interests of football first” when making the decision to step down – something he had been “actively considering for some time” – and apologised again for his comments.
His resignation statement read: “My unacceptable words in front of Parliament were a disservice to our game and to those who watch, play, referee and administer it. 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.”
Clarke, speaking at Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee meeting on Tuesday, was answering a question around the difficulty of gay players in the men’s game coming out because of social media backlash, reports Sky News.
The FA chairman had said: “If I look at what happens to high-profile female footballers, to high-profile coloured footballers, and the abuse they take on social media… social media is a free-for-all.”