New Members Appointed To FA’s Inclusion Advisory Board

The Football Association [The FA] has appointed seven new members to its Inclusion Advisory Board [IAB].


Former professional footballers Marvin Sordell and Liam Rosenior; Centre for Mental Health CEO Sarah Hughes; KPMG’s Director of Inclusion, Diversity and Social Equality, Edleen John; and Transport for London’s Director of Inclusion and Talent, Staynton Brown, have joined the IAB, which is chaired by Paul Elliott.



Kick It Out will continue its observer role, which will now be fulfilled by its Chair Sanjay Bhandari, while Roya Mehdizadeh-Valoujerdy will now represent The FA Youth Council.


The IAB is a sub-committee of, and reports into, the main FA Board. Formed in 2013 following the introduction of the cross-football inclusion and anti-discrimination programme, its latest developments include In Pursuit of Progress, The FA’s current three-year equality, diversity and inclusion plan. The plan sets out ambitious targets for both The FA and the wider game, with achievements within the first year including:


Increasing diversity amongst The FA’s own workforce;

– The smallest gender pay gap of any major sports governing body in England;


– Creating the Elite Placement Coaching Programme, providing invaluable England camp-based opportunities for under-represented groups with national senior teams;


– Developing programmes to encourage Asian communities to get involved in football;


– Wide-ranging support for the LGBT+ community, including a partnership with Stonewall, the Rainbow Laces campaign and participating in the annual Pride in London parade


– Increasing focus on tackling discrimination across the game at all levels.


Paul Elliott, Chair of The FA’s Inclusion Advisory Board, said: “I’m delighted to welcome the new members. The standard of candidates was outstanding, and it was important to bring in people who can offer a fresh perspective from both within and outside of football.


“We’ve made great strides since the Inclusion Advisory Board formed in 2013 and it’s crucial to bring in those who can challenge existing ideas. In Pursuit of Progress lays out our mission to make football truly for all.


“With an ambitious set of targets, we aim to increase the diversity of those playing, coaching, watching and leading football, ensuring it is reflective of modern society, and play our part in removing discrimination from the game we all love.


“I would also like to put on record my gratitude to Chris Ramsey, Shelley Alexander and Danielle Carter, who’d served their terms and were excellent additions to the group in recent years.”


Following the new appointments, the IAB now comprises:


Paul Elliott [IAB Chair]

Rimla Akhtar [FA Council and Founder, RimJhim Consulting]

Hannah Dingley [Academy Manager, Forest Green Rovers, and IAB representative on the FA Women’s Football Board]

Nuala Walsh [Vice Chair, UN Women and Founder, MindEquity Consulting]

Chris Paouros [Strategy and Leadership Consultant]

Sarah Hughes [CEO, Centre for Mental Health]

Marvin Sordell [Ex-professional footballer and Co-Founder, 180 Productions]

Liam Rosenior [Ex-professional football and First Team Coach, Derby County]

Edleen John [Director of Inclusion, Diversity and Social Equality, KPMG]

Wasim Haq [FA Council and Managing Partner, First Team Partners]

Staynton Brown [Director of Diversity, Inclusion and Talent, Transport for London]

Sanjay Bhandari [Chair, Kick It Out]

Roya Mehdizadeh-Valoujerdy [Co-Chair, FA National Youth Council]


Click here for more information on The FA’s Inclusion Advisory Board and diversity and inclusion initiatives.


Image: PA Images