Elite women’s football path not diverse and does not reflect England’s demographics, says Manisha Tailor MBE | Soccer News


Pioneering football manager Manisha Tailor MBE has told Sky Sports News the career path for elite women in English football lacks diversity.

PFA figures released earlier this year revealed that just 9.7 per cent of footballers at the game’s elite level come from diverse ethnic backgrounds.

The number of British South Asian professionals in the women’s top division stands at a meager 0.3%. This is despite the fact that South Asian women are the largest ethnic minority female group in the country and the global success of the 2002 blockbuster film. ‘Play it like Beckham’ based on an aspiring British footballer of South Asian descent.

Talk to Sky Sports News Ahead of this summer’s Women’s Euros, FA Women’s Football Director Baroness Sue Campbell has admitted that the current system of identifying and recruiting talent in women’s and women’s football is excluding a lot of people.

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FA Women’s Football Director Baroness Sue Campbell believes meaningful changes for various communities at the elite end of women’s football could take years, admitting the current talent identification and recruitment system excludes many of people

Tailor, who is assistant director of academy training at QPR and the only woman of South Asian descent to ever hold such a role in the game, called for action to be taken to correct the one of the biggest statistical anomalies in English football.

The UEFA A license coach told Tailor Sky Sports News: “I don’t think the women’s background in the elite game is diverse. I don’t think it’s representative of the demographics of England.

“When I asked [the Football Association] for the data – I understand that some data is protected, and it’s very difficult to fully understand the landscape of how many South Asian women we have in the elite lane – whether that’s the lane to the Women’s Super League or the way to England.

“I think more needs to be done.”

When contacted by Sky Sports News.

The FA said its main goals are to provide better access to more players while diversifying the talent pool, highlighting its Discover My Talent initiative and referring Sky Sports News to its Asian Inclusion Strategy Update and its broader Diversity and Inclusion Strategy.

The tailor’s book “Dream Like Me: South Asian Football Pioneers” just released during National Inclusion Week and profiles a number of people in the community working in and around the game.

Free Football Kaljit Atwal
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Freestyle footballer Kaljit Atwal wrote the introductory chapter of Dream Like Me: South Asian Football Trailblazers

Based on interviews and aimed at school-aged children, the stories illustrate some of the obstacles faced by British South Asians in football, offering young readers lessons for the future.

Sanderson: Various talents don’t show up regarding

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Former England international Lianne Sanderson says ethnically diverse under-representation remains a problem in elite women’s and women’s football in England

Meanwhile, former England striker Lianne Sanderson said blockages in the way of female talent for girls from diverse ethnic backgrounds were a real cause for concern.

England’s diverse ethnic representation became a talking point in 2021 when England named an all-white squad for a game against Northern Ireland.

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Women in Sport CEO Stephanie Hilborne says Lionesses’ Euro 2022 triumph has inspired more girls to dream they could reach the highest levels of sport

Demi Stokes and Nikita Parris were unavailable, and Ebony Salmon was eventually brought into the squad, but England named an all-white starting XI for the game. The issue was highlighted again over the summer as England named an all-white starting XI for every game of their superb Women’s Euro campaign, which saw them go on and lift the trophy .

Asked by Hayley McQueen, live on Sky Sports News, On the visibility of ethnically diverse footballers at the highest level, Sanderson said: “A few years ago there was a team chosen for England that didn’t represent any people of color and a lot of people have a lot to say on this issue, but for me it’s a ripple effect for several years.

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FA chief executive Mark Bullingham says the FA is committed to paving the way for girls into football and increasing diversity in women’s football

“When I played for Arsenal it wasn’t like we weren’t. There were a lot of us: myself, Rachel Yankey, Alex Scott, Anita Asante, the list could go on and that worries me. that there aren’t many young players, who play grassroots football and who succeed because, for me, I think it’s stuck somewhere.

“I don’t know why, and there are all these investigations coming out, and I think the PFA is doing a really good job, but it’s about talking about it.

“And [England manager] Sarina Wiegman spoke about it during the Euro, she did not hesitate, because it is obvious. When you look at the WSL, there aren’t many people of color on the teams – and that can’t be true.

“Now I’m not saying we should choose people based on the color of their skin – that’s not what I’ve ever said – I’m just saying there has to be a problem somewhere, because there aren’t many of us in the Game.”

Sanderson added: “Visibility is everything, and like I said, it’s not about choosing people based on the color of their skin or their gender, it’s about choosing the right people. for the position and for giving us this opportunity.

“I think having those kinds of conversations will hopefully change that and bring awareness, because at the Euros it was something that was pretty obvious to me.

“It’s been obvious for two or three years, but I can’t always be the person, Hayley, who talks about it all the time.

“Sometimes you need other people to speak up too. This came up during the Euros, and hopefully we’ll start to see a lot more young players come into the system who come from a variety of backgrounds and are quite good to play for England.”

How Sky is trying to change things

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Sky Sports have announced a partnership with Sporting Equals in early 2022 to support the charity’s ambition to inspire more opportunities for British South Asians in football

sky sports recognized and began taking action to address the lack of diversity in women’s football in 2020 as part of its £30million pledge to tackle systemic racism and make a difference in communities across the Kingdom -United.

sky sports worked with dozens of current and former players from various ethnic backgrounds and tried to give them a platform to share their stories in an attempt to capture the imagination to inspire the next generation of female footballers.

Talents have been identified and reported directly to the Football Association and other international federations and professional clubs as part of Sky Sports’ unprecedented commitment to British South Asians in football, which has also led us to dedicate a section of our website to raising awareness of South Asians in the game and to create a dedicated blog.

A number of elite and elite-potential players and their families have also been supported with mentorship and access to development opportunities off the pitch.

Earlier this year, Sky Sports also partnered with the country’s largest sports racing equality charity, Sporting Equals, which saw us supporting participation across the country, including designing the event ” Seeing Is Believing” for century-old west London sports club Indian Gymkhana.

British South Asians in football

For more stories, features and videos, visit our groundbreaking South Asians in Football page on skysports.com and the South Asians in the Game blog and stay tuned to Sky Sports News and our digital Sky Sports




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