Greg Clarke will not stand down from £190,000 Fifa vice-president role despite FA chairman resignation

Disgraced former FA chairman to remain in lucrative role until the next Congress election in March, triggering an angry response from Gary Neville over his ‘unacceptable’ decision

Jack de Menezes
Sports News Correspondent
Thursday 12 November 2020 09:40
FA chairman Greg Clarke apologises for saying 'coloured'

Disgraced former Football Association chairman Greg Clarke has confirmed he will not stand down as Fifa vice-president, in a move that has been described as “unacceptable” by former England international Gary Neville.

Clarke resigned from his role at the top of the English game on Tuesday after making a series of controversial comments in front of MPs at a Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) select committee hearing.

The 63-year-old sparked outrage with his remarks about race, homosexuality and gender, and confirmed that he tendered his resignation shortly after the calamitous appearance.

Clarke was expected to also stand down from his role as Britain’s vice-president at Fifa, a position that lands him £190,000-a-year and gives him a powerful say on the global governing body’s Council.

But he has confirmed that following a conversation with Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin, he has been swayed into staying in the role until the next Congress election on 2 March next year, despite calls for him to step down immediately.

Read more: Greg Clarke resigns as FA chairman

“I am staying purely at the request of Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin,” Clarke told Sky Sports.

Clarke’s stance comes after Fifa backed his decision to step down from the FA, with the governing body also issuing a reminder that he is free to do so from their Council as the body operates a “zero tolerance” approach to any form of discrimination.

A Fifa spokesperson said: “Fifa's zero tolerance position on discrimination remains steadfast and clear: any form of discrimination, including racism, sexism and homophobia, has no place in football.

“In the circumstances and given the nature of his comments, Fifa considers that Mr Clarke did the right thing to resign as Chairman of the FA on Tuesday.

“Mr Clarke was elected to his position on the Fifa Council by Uefa and his term of office runs until 2023. He is, of course, free to resign from the Ffifa Council, just as he has resigned as Chairman of the FA. It is for Mr Clarke to take that decision.”

Clarke is one of three vice-presidents among Uefa alongside Ceferin and Hungary’s Csanyi Sandor, with eight vice-presidents in total across the six confederations. The issue for Uefa is that had Clarke resigned, he would not have been replaced until the next Congress meeting next year, meaning Uefa would lose a seat on the Fifa Council until the vacancy was filled and British football would no longer have a voice on the decision-making process at the top of the game.

Clarke stepped down after making controversial comments on Tuesday

Uefa statutes state: “If a vice-president or person elected to Fifa Council vacates the position during term of office, Uefa shall elect a replacement until the next congress.”

The news was met with an angry response from former Manchester United defender Neville, who is leading calls for complete reform across English football and, in particular, the FA.

“Unacceptable,” said Neville. “A resigned FA chairman stays on as a Fifa Vice President! FA have you got the guts to deal with this mess? Independent Regulator please ASAP!!

“He can resign from his post though and the FA can at least lead on this by asking him to step down publicly if he won’t! He’s embarrassed them enough."

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