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Campbell criticises commission's lack of diversity

11 October 2013, 19:38

London -Sol Campbell said Friday he was unhappy with the lack of black football figures on a commission set-up to look into the state of the English game.

The eight-strong panel named by Football Association chairman Greg Dyke earlier this week are all white and for black former England defender Campbell that was a worrying sign.

"I wouldn't mind if they had some black players in there, black players who have actually done something for club and country," Campbell told the BBC.

"Football is a diverse game and that should be reflected in the committee."

Joining Dyke on the panel are former England manager Glenn Hoddle, ex-England defender Danny Mills, former Leeds manager Howard Wilkinson, Professional Footballers' Association chairman Ritchie Humphreys, Crewe director of football Dario Gradi, FA vice-chairman Roger Burden and Football League chairman Greg Clarke.

However, Dyke did say it was possible other names could join the commission at a later date.

"There is enough experience there but I wouldn't mind if they looked at other avenues and maybe put some black players in there to mix it about," said Campbell, who won 73 England caps before retiring last year.

"It seems like that's overlooked all the time. I don't know who's whispering in their ears but it seems the same situation keeps cropping up," the 39-year-old added.

"The FA has got to start opening up, spreading its wings and looking at different people from different backgrounds who have done great things for club and country to get the views they need to move on," the former Tottenham, Arsenal and Portsmouth centre-back added.

"You can't have similar people, similar mindsets, in one committee if you want to expand and find different solutions."

Meanwhile former England striker turned BBC football presenter Gary Lineker said most members of the commission were "utterly pointless".

"No wonder they announced Glenn Hoddle early on. Most of the others are utterly pointless. Expected better from Greg Dyke," Lineker, a former England captain, said on Twitter.

English footballers account for less than a third of all the minutes played in the Premier League, according to a State of the Game study published by the BBC on Thursday.

Since winning the 1966 World Cup as hosts, England have only reached the semi-finals of two major tournaments and the commission will investigate the reasons for their recent failings.

Clubs in England's top-flight Premier League -- who've declined the chance to have a representative on the commission but who have said they will assist it's work -- have been criticised for relying too heavily on foreign talent.

But Everton chief executive Robert Elstone said Friday that English players who made it into Premier League side would benefit from the competition for places created by imports.

"How many great players do we actually need to win a World Cup? The Belgians might do it with 15? Maybe it's time to think quality and not quantity?" Elstone wrote in a blog on Everton's website.

"Our English talent looks over its shoulder every day. They have players from all over the world chasing their livelihoods. Where better to get the 20, 30 or 40 players we need to fight with the best in the world at a national level?"

England need to win their remaining two qualifiers, both at Wembley, against Montenegro on Friday and Poland on Tuesday to be certain of a place at next year's World Cup finals in Brazil.




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