PFA and The FA announce BAME coaching placements initiative for England teams

Gareth Southgate, England training session

The PFA and The FA have officially launched a three-year project to ensure BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) coaching placements across all England teams including the men’s seniors squad.

The PFA will jointly fund the ‘In Pursuit of Progress’ initiative alongside The FA which will be implemented across England’s men’s and women’s age groups.

As part of the scheme, The FA are committed to ensuring that at least one BAME candidate will be interviewed for every role in the England set-up, with the stipulation that the candidate has applied and meets the selection criteria.

PFA Trustee, Brendon Batson OBE explained: “The PFA's involvement in the project has been a major one, we first approached The FA last year raising concerns about the lack of visibility of BAME coaches in the national team set up.

“When you look at the England squads they are very integrated and diverse, but we weren't seeing that being reflected amongst the England coaching staff.

"Following meetings last September, we agreed a joint initiative, with the main thrust to get more visibility of coaches from the BAME community.

“We want to see more UEFA A Licensed BAME coaches involved with the both male and female national squads.”

Batson concluded: "We are delighted it's come into fruition, it's a huge step in the right direction for BAME coaches."

Sol Campbell is one of the beneficiaries of the initiative. The former Tottenham and Arsenal star has been invited to assist England’s Under-21s next month.

Brighton first-team coach Paul Nevin will be part of Gareth Southgate’s staff for November’s matches against USA and Croatia, while ex-Ipswich coach Terry Connor will join the Under-21s for this month’s Euro qualifiers.

PFA Trustee Paul Elliott who chairs The FA’s Inclusion Advisory Board, said: “The FA now have a clear commitment to giving talented coaches from under-represented groups the chance to work with England teams.

“I have long felt that having more visibility around the national team could only serve to inspire others to follow in their footsteps.”