28 October 2020

Aston Villa’s Eni Aluko praises the FA’s new diversity code as a ‘step towards change’

The Football Association’s new diversity code highlights an ‘intentional step towards change’, according to Aston Villa’s Eni Aluko.

It was announced yesterday that the FA are asking clubs to hit diversity targets in coaching positions as well as senior management roles.

Aluko, who is the women’s director of football at Villa, told The Daily Telegraph: “It’s another intentional step towards change and towards an issue that needs addressing. Nobody’s saying anybody should get a job because of the colour of their skin, [or] because they’re a woman. 

"What we’re saying is, there’s some incredible people of colour. There’s some incredible women who, if given the opportunity, can show they’re incredible, but they need the opportunity. 

“If we start this now, we will ­naturally get to a point in 10 or 15 years’ time – hopefully even sooner – where we are seeing a more diverse range of people in leadership positions, because they’re good at what they do. But you have to have an intentional push towards it.”

The new code is voluntary but in the announcement yesterday it was revealed 42 clubs over the Women’s Super League, Women’s Championship, Premier League and English Football League have already signed up for it.

Aluko added she believes there needs to be an equilibrium between women’s and men’s football.

“We need more women in men’s football and we need maybe more men in women’s football. The ­equilibrium is really important to just build really good teams that are full of men and women.

“Other countries are just much better at just taking those risks – and I hate to call it risk – but I guess it’s seen as that. I think that’s where we need to get to, and I think that’s where the men’s game needs to get to, where we give women an opportunity.”

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