Tottenham star Dele Alli’s ban only highlights lack of diversity on FA board

The irony is stark: Dele Alli — a black man — is accused of racism by the FA, an organisation without a single black board member.

In a week when Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling has highlighted the lack of black representation within English football’s governing body, Alli’s ban only amplifies the worrying absence of diversity on the FA board. 

Of the 11 people on that board, just one is from a BAME background: Rupinder Bains, who holds a non-executive position.

Dele Alli landed himself in hot water after posting an insensitive video about coronavirus

Dele Alli landed himself in hot water after posting an insensitive video about coronavirus

The Spurs star was found guilty of unintentional racism and will miss the first game back

The Spurs star was found guilty of unintentional racism and will miss the first game back

There’s something discomfiting about that — although it’s only fair to point out that the Alli ruling was made by an independent commission comprised of two white men and one black.

Having been banned for a social media post that smacks more of misjudgment than discrimination, if Alli isn’t irritated by it, then he really should be.

Because he won’t be the only one. There was unease about the situation as the news broke on Thursday, an unease that has carried through to the BAME playing community.

Raheem Sterling has called for black people in football to be given equal opportunities

Raheem Sterling has called for black people in football to be given equal opportunities

Black players are restless for change at the top of our national game.

That will take time, of course. The FA are increasingly diverse — the growing number of black coaches emerging through the ranks at St George’s Park shows that.

They are working to ensure they are heading in the right direction and need time to deliver more diversity at the organisation.

But the big question is: how long before they get it right?

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