FA reforms passed as legal challenge to Spanish election thwarted
The shareholders of English soccer’s Football Association have approved new reforms that will make it more diverse and limit the number of terms of officials.
FA chairman Greg Clarke said it was "a very positive step" for the organisation.
At yesterday’s annual general meeting the members voted in favour of measures that include reducing the FA board from 12 to 10 and adding 11 members, including two from a non-white background, to the FA council to make it more representative of the national game, while life and senior vice-presidents will lose their voting rights.
A majority of the reforms come into effect on 27 July.
From 2018, at least three of the FA board members will have to be female and members of the board and council will be able to serve a maximum of three terms of three years each.
The reforms had already received the unanimous approval of the board and the council.
The FA has come under attack for a lack of diversity and, in February, members of the UK Parliament passed a motion of no confidence against the national association.
It had been warned by the UK’s sports minister Tracey Crouch that it stood to lose Sport England grassroots funding, which amounted to £30 million ($39 million) for the period 2013 to 2017, and have reforms imposed on it from above, if it did not satisfactorily address governance concerns.
However, Clarke (pictured) believes that the national association has now shown its commitment to modernise.
In a statement, he said: “This is a significant moment and a very positive step for The Football Association.
"Good corporate governance is essential for any successful organisation and these new reforms have the interests of football at their core. They will benefit all of English football. Our aim is to make English football for all and a more inclusive and diverse game."
Meanwhile, Angel Maria Villar, the long-serving president of the RFEF, the Spanish soccer federation, is set to be re-elected unopposed on Monday after a legal challenge to the election was rejected.
On Thursday, the High Court of Justice in Madrid dismissed an appeal from Jorge Pérez, the former secretary general of the RFEF, who was seeking a precautionary suspension of the election until alleged irregularities were resolved.
TAD, the highest Spanish sports court, had already ruled against Pérez, who was due to stand in the election, but did not meet a deadline to submit the necessary paperwork. His challenge had the support of Spanish soccer's top-tier LaLiga.
The Pérez camp have alleged a lack of impartiality from regional federations and wrongdoing in the collection of postal votes.
The 67-year-old Villar has been head of the RFEF since 1988.Sportcal