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Former FA chairman Greg Clarke steps down from FIFA Council role

Greg Clarke File Photo
(Image credit: Tim Goode)

Greg Clarke has resigned from his position as a UEFA representative on the FIFA council in the wake of his departure from the Football Association.

Clarke resigned as FA chairman on Tuesday after making a series of offensive remarks during an evidence session with MPs on the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee, including using the word “coloured”.

UEFA said in a statement: “Following a telephone call this morning between the UEFA president and Greg Clarke, they agreed with Greg Clarke’s proposal that he should step down with immediate effect from his position as a UEFA representative on the FIFA Council.”

England manager Gareth Southgate, left, criticised Greg Clarke's comments

England manager Gareth Southgate, left, criticised Greg Clarke’s comments (Nick Potts/PA)

Clarke’s comments included him insinuate that being gay was a “life choice” and discuss how the lack of women’s goalkeepers was due to girls not liking the ball being kicked at them.

England boss Gareth Southgate said “there was no alternative but for him to go” while former England Women captain Casey Stoney added the comments were “completely unacceptable”.

The FA appointed Peter McCormick as interim chairman following Clarke’s departure, and said it hopes to appoint a new chairman by the end of March.

Paul Elliott, the chairman of the FA’s inclusion advisory board, and Bobby Barnes, the deputy chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association, have both been mooted as strong contenders.

Through Clarke’s decision, he has also rescinded his position as a FIFA vice-president.

Under Article 5 of the regulations governing the implementation of UEFA statutes, UEFA’s executive committee must now elect an interim replacement representative, probably from one of the British associations, to serve on the FIFA Council until the next UEFA Congress in March.

The interim appointment will not become a vice-president.

However, the permanent replacement to Clarke – who will be a candidate put forward by the British associations at the 2021 Congress – would become a FIFA vice-president.