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British sports minister calls for English FA reform

Fri 7th Oct 2011 | Football Governance

Britain’s sports and Olympics minister Hugh Robertson called for a radical reform of the English FA in the wake of a select committee report into how football is governed in the country.

Robertson told reporters at Leaders in Football that “there is much in our national game to celebrate, but this governance issue needs to be sorted and put to bed".

He said that a response to the report would be published in the next few weeks and would outline changes that would include “reform of the FA board, reform of the relationship between the FA board and the council, and a licensing system in which the FA has control of most of the principles".

Robertson also suggested more women be recruited to participate in decision-making at the association.

He went as far as saying the government would interfere if reforms were not forthcoming. “We would legislate – we are in the process of drawing up legislation in case it is necessary," he said.

He was also asked whether there was any more news about a Team GB men's football team. Plans for a British team are backed by the English FA. But the FAs from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are opposed to uniting together to field a team at the London 2012 Olympics fearing that they will lose their autonomy in the eyes of FIFA. But FIFA has offered reassurances on several occasions that their independence is not in jeopardy.

“The associations tend to forget the opportunity to represent your home country at the Olympics comes around very rarely indeed," Robertson said. 

"If they [players] were denied the opportunity by politics to compete in a home Olympics, that would be a huge shame.”

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