The English Football Association have confirmed that they will be using the “Rooney Rule” for upcoming staff appointments.
FA chief executive Martin Glenn has stated that England will use the rule when appointing a successor to current Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate, plus positions across the other England national teams.
In a statement released on Tuesday which promised sweeping changes to the way the FA governs the game in England and how the English national teams are set up, the implementation of the “Rooney Rule” was confirmed.
“The principles of a voluntary Rooney Rule will be formally adopted by the England team set-up. This will ensure that at least one BAME candidate will be interviewed for every role as long as such a candidate has applied and meets the recruitment criteria.”
Speaking to BBC Sport, Glenn had the following to say about his plans with Southgate currently locked into a contract until 2020 and backed to stay on however England fare at the 2018 World Cup in Russia this summer.
“What it will say is the opportunity to have a career beyond playing is something that the FA is serious about promoting,” Glenn said. “The FA wants to become a more inclusive organisation where the workforce more represents the people who play football today.”
There have been calls for much of the soccer world to implement the long-standing NFL ruling (introduced in 2003) which and now a procedure is in place for coaches from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic background to be interviewed for future roles in the England set-up.
Clubs from the English Football League have already adopted the “Rooney Rule” and that kicked in on Jan. 1, 2018, while the academy systems of teams in tiers 2-4 in the UK have been using this criteria since the summer of 2017.
According to initial reports, this ruling will mean at least one coach from a minority background will be interviewed for each England job which becomes available, given they meet a certain criteria, i.e. have the necessary coaching badges.
This is a big step forward from the FA which has become embattled in recent months.
Given the ongoing investigation into claims of historic sexual abuse of young players in England followed by the firing of Mark Sampson as the manager of the England women’s national team — due to past alleged abuse against his former players and allegations of racist abuse from himself and his staff against female squad members of the Three Lionesses — the way the FA is organized and governed has been heavily scrutinized.