English soccer adopts Rooney Rule for national team jobs

AP , Tuesday 9 Jan 2018

Hope Powell
File photo: A Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011 file photo showing Team GB women's soccer head coach Hope Powell at a press conference at Wembley Stadium in London. English soccer leaders want to interview at least one black or ethnic minority candidate in future for jobs around the national teams AP

English soccer leaders want to interview at least one black or ethnic minority candidate in future for national team management jobs.

The English Football Association is emulating the NFL and its Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview a diverse pool of candidates for coaching and management positions.

There has never been a non-white manager of the England men's team, but the women's team was led into the 2007 and 2011 World Cups by Hope Powell, who is black. There is currently one black manager of a Premier League team - Chris Hughton at Brighton.

Setting out the FA's plans for the year, chief executive Martin Glenn said at least one black and minority ethnic (BAME) candidate will be interviewed for all future jobs around the national teams if they have the right qualifications and experience.

''It is the right thing to do but there is also a business case for it,'' Glenn said at Wembley Stadium. ''If your management team reflects more the people that you are serving then you're going to make correct decisions.

''What we're seeing now is more BAME players and what we want to do is make sure that post their playing career there's an opportunity for them to carry on contributing and that they feel the FA is also for them.''

The FA's desire to ensure the England management is more diverse following a damaging row around the women's team. Former manager Mark Sampson was found to have racially discriminated against two of his players, while goalkeeping coach Lee Kendall left his role after addressing striker Eni Aluko using a mock Caribbean accent.

''It's all about improving performance by making the England players feel like the setup is more inclusive,'' Glenn said.

The Rooney Rule was named after campaigning Pittsburgh Steelers chairman Dan Rooney, who died last year.

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