Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Sweetman-Kirk demands change on diversity in women’s football

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Courtney Sweetman-Kirk says football must show “a genuine desire for change” to tackle the lack of diversity in elite girls’ and women’s football.

Sweetman-Kirk’s comments come after England manager Sarina Wiegman told Sky Sports News before Friday’s 4-0 win over Japan she “would love to see more Black players in the team”.

England named three mixed-Black heritage players in their Women’s Euros squad this summer but fielded an all-white starting XI in every match of their stunning tournament triumph, reigniting the debate over the lack of ethnic diversity in elite girls’ and women’s football. According to the PFA, just 9.7 per cent of footballers in the elite women’s game are from diverse ethnic backgrounds, compared to 43 per cent of male players in the Premier League.

Wiegman added on Friday: “We need to do more and we are doing more. The FA is doing more to give access to anyone who wants to play football.”

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England Women’s forward Ella Toone pointed to the open letter to the Government penned by the Lionesses after their Euro 2022 success, asking for girls to have equal access to football in PE lessons, as proof the squad are committed to creating a genuine legacy for women’s football.