Football

More heat on scudamore

The furore over sexist e-mails sent by Richard Scudamore has intensified with a Football Association (FA) board member and several England women internationals calling for action against the Premier League chief executive.

He has been urged to consider his position by Heather Rabbatts, an independent FA board member and one of the most prominent women in English football, in light of “growing evidence of a closed culture of sexism” at the Premier League.

“No one can doubt the tremendous achievements of the Premier League in creating one of the world’s great footballing competitions,” Rabbatts said in a statement yesterday.

“But with that success and the massive public interest it generates comes the obligation to behave responsibly and have in place proper lines of accountability and good governance.

“Sadly recent events appear to show that these things are currently lacking in the administration of the Premier League and indeed there is growing evidence of a closed culture of sexism, symbolised in the email exchanges which have been made public.

“These challenges go beyond the current situation of chief executive Richard Scudamore, however if the League are to move forward in a positive way then he and they should give serious consideration to his position in the coming days.”

England and Everton women’s goalkeeper Rachel Brown-Finnis said the e-mails were an “insult to all women” and that Scudamore should be sanctioned, while former England captain Casey Stoney said his position was now “very difficult”.

The group Women In Football has written to all 20 Premier League clubs and main sponsors asking for an “independent review” of the league’s practices.

Stoney said: “We are trying to get to a world without discrimination and to have somebody in such a high position in football making derogatory comments about females is not acceptable.

“How would he feel if these comments were written about his daughters?

“It is up to the powers that be whether he stays on but talking about women in such a derogatory way makes his position very difficult.

“Whether it’s a private e-mail or not, he has written them and he has only apologised because he has been caught.”

Brown-Finnis told BBC Sport: “It’s not just about women who are involved in football, it was an insult to all women.

“However jokey he was trying to be with that, it’s just totally unacceptable in this day and age.

“It’s zero defence for me. Private e-mails when you are head of the Premier League don’t really exist.

“Is a sorry enough? Probably not, but I do think the way to move forward is for the Premier League to follow their protocols just like they would with other employees and I’m sure they have policies which would sanction him appropriately for his misconduct.”

Scudamore is also facing increasing pressure on his position after principal sponsor Barclays expressed disappointment to the league over the email exchange with a lawyer friend.

CRITICS

Edward Lord, an equality campaigner who is a member of the FA’s inclusion advisory board (IAB), has suggested Scudamore’s position is “untenable”.

The e-mails, which have been described by FA chairman Greg Dyke as “totally inappropriate”, referred to women in a derogatory terms, contained sexual innuendoes, and made jokes about “female irrationality”.

The league would not comment on Friday on the latest developments.

But the involvement of Barclays raises the stakes ahead of a meeting of the Premier League’s audit and remuneration committee, chaired by Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck, tomorrow to discuss the case, which will also be the subject of a special meeting of the FA’s Inclusion Advisory Board on Tuesday.

After the story broke in the Sunday Mirror, Scudamore issued a statement apologising for the e-mails, which were sent from his Premier League e-mail account and seen by a former temporary PA who leaked them to the newspaper. — Wire Services.

One too many subs for turtles?

Terengganu made three substitutions during the match last night, but did they unwittingly make another before the match kicked off?

The team list, signed by both teams' coaches and managers, as well as the match commissioner, indicated Nor Farhan Muhd was supposed to be on the pitch.

However, it was substitute Ahmad Nordin who took to the field during kick-off.

If the change indeed counts as a substitution, then Terengganu would have made one substitution more than the rules allow, and the LionsXII could be awarded the match.

LionsXII manager Visakan Subramanian confirmed he had included this controversial incident when he filed his match report that will be submitted to the Malaysian Super League.

But Terengganu coach Abdul Rahman Ibrahim was confident there was no rule infringement, and said: "We made a change because of injury.

"But that is not considered a substitution, although we would have six players on the bench instead of seven."