Football

'Clock ticking' for English FA

The English Football Association (FA) was warned "the clock is ticking", after a motion of no confidence into its ability to reform itself was passed during a British Parliamentary debate Friday morning (Singapore time).

While Sports Minister Tracey Crouch ruled out immediate intervention into the running of the world's oldest football federation, she warned that it was in danger of losing £30 million (S$53.3m) of public funding and that legislation could be brought in to force change.

Crouch said the current model of the 154-year-old institution "does not stand up to scrutiny".

"Reform is required," Crouch told lawmakers, who described the organisation variously as "shambolic" and "ancient".

"But I repeat that the governing body has every opportunity to bring that around itself. Therefore, I believe a vote of no confidence in the FA today is six weeks premature.

LACK OF DIVERSITY

"But they should be aware the clock is ticking fast and that failure to reform will lead not just to the withdrawal of public money, but also further consideration of legislative, regulatory and financial options to bring about the change needed."

The motion was tabled by the Culture, Media and Sport select committee which argued that the FA had failed to demonstrate that it was willing to improve governance since the government issued new guidelines six months ago.

Chief among the criticisms of the FA are a lack of diversity and a failure to represent the modern game.

The FA's 122-member council contains just eight women and only four from ethnic minorities. The vast majority are aged over 60, with 12 in their 80s.

FA chairman Greg Clarke has to present a programme of reforms, aimed at bringing the organisation in line with the Government's Code of Governance, by the end of next month.

He has vowed to stand down if he fails. - REUTERS

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