Black football pioneer blasts FA over “mindboggling” interim chairman appointment

16 November 2020

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Photo: PA Images Peter McCormick was voted in as interim chairman at an emergency FA board meeting on Tuesday last week. Now one of English football’s pioneering black footballers has described the decision as “mind-boggling”.

Howard Gayle says that FA were “acting and not thinking” when making Peter McCormick the new acting chairman on Tuesday.

As a sports lawyer Peter McCormick oversaw Luis Suarez’s race case defence, in which Patrice Evra was falsely accused of “inventing” racist slur.

McCormick cleared of professional misconduct relating to notorious 2001 trial of Leeds United players.

Gayle says that preoccupation with black candidates is “dangerous” and questions why they are only ever considered as a reaction to race scandals.

James Corbett corbett@offthepitch.com

One of English football’s pioneering black footballers has described as “mind-boggling” the decision to appoint Yorkshire solicitor Peter McCormick as the FA’s interim chairman, and has warned against tokenism in the search for Greg Clarke’s successor.

Howard Gayle, who in 1980 became the first black player for England’s most successful club, Liverpool, also says that it is “dangerous” that black former players are only being considered for leadership roles as a reaction to a race scandal.

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