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Vieira urges FA to be ‘more ambitious’ in increasing diversity

premier league everton v crystal palace
Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira

Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira called upon England’s Football Association to be “more ambitious” after a report on Friday showed a decrease in the number of diverse candidates hired into senior management and coaching roles at clubs in men’s football.

The FA’s report on the Football Leadership Diversity Code for the 2021-22 season showed a decrease in the number of senior management hires for both female and Black, Asian and Mixed Heritage candidates.

All Premier League teams and 32 English Football League clubs have signed up to the code, which was introduced in 2020 to focus on increasing equality of opportunity to encourage recruitment of diverse talent across senior leadership teams, team operations and coaching setups.

The recruitment of non-senior diverse coaches in the men’s game, as well as female coaches in women’s football, also fell below the targets during the 2021-22 season, the report highlighted.

“I saw the FA’s communication on what they are trying to do and what is their target,” Vieira, the only Black manager in the Premier League this season, told reporters.

“I would like them to be a little bit more ambitious on that side because I don’t think the numbers they want to achieve are high enough.”

Former Arsenal captain Vieira told the BBC this week that “doors are not open” for Black people into management.

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