On Wednesday in Wembley, London well-known people from the football world were talking about the power of diversity in the game. One of the panels of the #EqualGame Conference was the ‘Voices from the pitch’. The speakers were: Yaya Touré, the ex-FC Barcelona, Manchester City FC and Ivory Coast footballer; Belgium coach Roberto Martínez; Rachel Yankey, the former England women’s footballer and coach of the London Bees; Bibiana Steinhaus, the first woman referee to officiate at games in the German Bundesliga; and Jason Roberts, CONCACAF’s director of development.
Bibiana Steinhaus said “You want to have the best possible person in this role, and gender doesn’t matter” and she added:
“I love the diversity of football, and one of the strengths in football is we have diversity on the field, and I’d like to have that even more off the field as well. When it comes to decision-making, we need to have every aspect of our wonderful sport in the decision-making process.”
The other problem is that also the place where you came from should not be a matter in this sport. Jason Roberts pointed:
“We really need to look at decision-making and the opportunity for coaches, managers, for those leadership and administration positions, more than thirty percent BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) players, but four percent in coaching and management roles across our four leagues in England. You are limiting people’s opportunities to continue their careers.”