FA To Publish Plans To Increase Presence Of British Asians In English Football
The FA is "to publish plans later this year about increasing the number of British Asian players and coaches in the English game," according to Mandeep Sanghera of the BBC. Only eight homegrown Asian players "currently have professional deals across England's top four divisions." FA Inclusion Projects Coordinator Kevin Coleman said, "There are some specific targets around Asians in football." The aim is to "boost the number of homegrown Asians playing and coaching at both grassroots level and in the professional game." Asians made up 7.5% -- about 4.2 million people -- of the population in England, according to the '11 census. Those figures are not "reflected within football but Coleman believes the signing of the inclusion and anti-discrimination plan by football's authorities will have a major impact on the number of British Asians involved with the game" (BBC, 10/29).
ASIAN OFFICIALS' RECOMMENDATIONS: INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL reported "under the chairmanship" of FIFA VP Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, Asian football officials have "concluded a high-profile round table in Jordan by recommending a series of proposals to boost the development of grassroots football in the region." The package of "recommendations for driving grassroots football forward" includes the initial priority for grassroots football in Asia of girls and boys from 5 to 12 years of age, "followed by girls and boys from 13 to 19 years of age." Another recommendation encourages football bodies to organize "grassroots activities for men and women as well." The recommendations also suggest that Asian football bodies "must share best practices from organizations large and small, and communicate grassroots information using the Internet and other media" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 10/29).