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Jul 29, 2014

FA Council to have diversity training

Every member of the 121-strong FA Council -- criticised by FA chairman Greg Dyke for being "overwhelmingly old, white and male" -- is to have to undergo equality and diversity training.

The decision was taken by the Football Association's board last week as part of a response to the case of referees chief David Elleray, who was ordered to undertake the course after apologising for making offensive comments to Robert McCarthy, a black nonleague referee coaching manager.

Elleray sits on the council as head of the FA referees committee, and FA directors decided that all council members should receive equality and diversity training to ensure others do not make similar mistakes, especially those from older generations who may be unaware that some language common in their youth is now viewed as unacceptable.

Dyke said in a video message to fans at the weekend that the FA risked becoming "increasingly irrelevant" if it did not change the make up of its council.

He said: "It's still overwhelmingly male, overwhelmingly white in a world that isn't overwhelmingly male and white, and somehow that has to be changed.

"We've got to look at how we involve the population of 21st-century England and the mix it's got. If we just carry on like this -- old, white males -- we're going to be increasingly irrelevant."

All FA employees are undergoing equality and diversity training, which involves being part of a small group taking part in interactive courses and being asked to respond to different scenarios.

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