For the first time in England football history, one black or ethnic minority candidate will be required to be interviewed for the manager position. According to ABC News, since “the job was created 72 years ago, every manager of the England men’s football team has been white.” Although not guaranteed, the mandating of a minority for interview is a step forward for the country’s program and a draw from an American Football policy currently in place in the National Football League (NFL). The Rooney Rule as it is called “requires teams to interview a diverse pool of candidates for coaching and management positions.”
The FA’s Rooney Rule covers jobs across all 28 national teams organized under the England flag, including youth and disability squads for men and women. Currently, only one manager is black: Kevin Betsy, who runs the men’s under-15s. The women’s team was led into the 2007 and 2011 World Cups by Hope Powell, who is black. The team currently requires a new coach.
The push for diversity was spurred by a recent altercation in which women’s team member Eni Aluko accused former manager Mark Sampson and Lee Kendell of racial discrimination. The issue highlighted a history of not so friendly diversity issues and has resulted in a solution that could benefit England’s team from a ethnic diversity standpoint.
“The Sports People’s Think Tank reported in November that 22 of 482 coaching roles across 92 clubs in the top four professional leagues in England were held by BAME coaches.”