The Football Association chairman, Greg Dyke, has admitted that the governing body’s efforts to increase the numbers of British Asians playing football have been a failure.
The FA is due to publish a report on the issue next year after a delay in its production – it was originally due to be released in December 2013.
Dyke has said that Britain’s largest ethnic minority is still not adequately represented in the game. “It’s clear that however well-intentioned the FA and other football bodies have been in the past in offering more pathways for Asians to progress in the game, change hasn’t materialised,” he said. “The passion has not quite translated.”
He revealed that the FA had held forums with Asian communities around the UK. “From my own experiences in club football, I know the appetite is there for Asians to be involved in the game at all levels,” he said.
“Yet only a handful of players have made the professional playing ranks over the past two decades. Players like Zesh Rehman, Harpal Singh, Michael Chopra, Adil Nabi and Permi Jhooti have been the exception rather than the rule.
“Off the field, Zaf Iqbal, as a club doctor for Liverpool, and Sangi Patel, a former physiotherapist for Queens Park Rangers, have made great strides too,” he added.
The issue comes in the wake of criticism levelled at the domestic game for the lack of black and Asian people in senior roles such as management.Reuse content