Paul Elliott welcomes new members to inclusion advisory board
Paul Elliott, Chair of Football Association (FA) Inclusion Advisory Board, has appointed seven new members to be part of FA's Inclusion Advisory Board [IAB].
Since Paul Elliott became Chair of IAB in 2017, his mission from the start has been building on solid foundations and regulations needed to combat discrimination in football.
IAB's diversity and inclusion plan 'In Pursuit of Progress', sets out the FA’s ambition to have more gender and BAME representation in coaching, leadership, FA workforce and across their gaming industry.
In a statement, Elliott said:
"I’m proud that the FA is prioritising this and leading change by being proactive, by demonstrating strong leadership and responding to the 21st-century challenges we all face together – from the touchline to the boardroom. However, we all recognise that there is more to be done.
"We remain wholly committed to stamping discrimination out of the game, both on and off the field of play, while recognising the challenges we need to address in football within our own country."
A prime example is the Bulgaria v England game in October 2019, when Black players in the England team were faced with racial abuse from the crowd.
Paul Elliott also mentioned the FA's progress with the Royals' mental health charity, 'Heads Together'. Which encourages the football industry and wider society, to raise awareness of the importance of mental health and ensuring it is treated the same as physical health.
"I retired from professional football in the mid-1990s, following several operations on my knees, and I admit that the trauma I experienced was mental as well as physical. In my generation, you were deemed weak and were dismissed if you spoke out on such issues", said Elliott.
However, he has acknowledged the players who have shared their own struggles, breaking down the stigmas attached to mental health and encouraging others in the same path as them to speak out.
With all the diverse and inclusive achievements made by the IAB and the FA. Paul Elliott addressed that more work needs to be done, he said "focus remains on the future, doing more and ensuring we continue to challenge prejudices and open up further opportunities for everybody, regardless of their race, religion, sexuality, gender, background or anything else.
"I look forward to working with our new members and will continue to provide regular updates on the IAB’s progress as we aim to make the game we all love truly for all."
Source: The FA