FA chairman Clarke had no choice but to quit - Southgate

EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: ENGLAND TRAINING FOOTAGE AVAILABLE ON 3178-SOCCER-FRIENDLY-ENG-IRL/PREVIEW

SHOWS: BURTON-ON-TRENT, ENGLAND, UK (NOVEMBER 11, 2020) (ENGLISH FA HANDOUT - ACCESS ALL)

1. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ENGLAND MANAGER, GARETH SOUTHGATE, ON GREG CLARKE'S RESIGNATION, SAYING:

"Well I think, as he said himself, the terminology he used in a number of areas was not acceptable and doesn't reflect the view of the FA. It doesn't reflect what we as a team stand for. I don't think he had any alternative but to take the decision he did to resign."

2. WHITE FLASH

3. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ENGLAND MANAGER, GARETH SOUTHGATE, ON THE FA BEING DIVERSE, SAYING:

"People have a view of the FA and those of you who I know have a bit more insight into over 800 people that work at the FA, across that spectrum there are people from numerous national backgrounds. From different sexuality. Members of the lesbian and gay community. Its as diverse an organisation as I've ever been apart of and, you know, so, I think, internally there was a lot of upset about what had been said and I think Greg recognised that amongst all the other challenges that what he said yesterday would have provided, the upset internally was massive. So, I know, there's a view of what the forward face of the FA is, but as you well know, there are 800 people here and it's a far broader organisation than that."

4. WHITE FLASH

5. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ENGLAND MANAGER, GARETH SOUTHGATE, ON WHO SHOULD REPLACE CLARKE, SAYING:

"I think we have a lot of black and female staff at the FA and they would all say that what they would want would be the right person for the role and that could be anybody from any background. That could be anybody of any gender, but it has to be the right person. So, I could easily grandstand here and say 'yes, it should be somebody from one part of the community', but I don't think that would correct either, so."

6. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ENGLAND MANAGER, GARETH SOUTHGATE, ON JOE GOMEZ'S INJURY HE PICKED UP IN TRAINING, SAYING:

"Yeah, I mean, I can't tell you how serious it is because he's yet to have scans. What was upsetting was to see he was in a fair bit of pain and fact that he was, there was nobody around him when the injury happened. So, I didn't like that element of it. But we're just got to wait and see what the scans show and, you know, we're all hopeful for him that it's not what it might be. But it's not a good situation, I don't see him being involved in the games with us, that's for sure."

7. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ENGLAND MANAGER, GARETH SOUTHGATE, ON PLAYERS HAVING TOO GREAT A WORKLOAD, SAYING:

"For me, there are lots of discussions about extra subs and things like that, but the bigger picture here was that governing bodies, broader authorities, everybody within the game needs to work together. There was an opportunity, we have a winter World Cup in two years, there was an opportunity this year to think differently. The pandemic has thrown up all sorts of difficulties for people, but everybody's tried to cram the program into a smaller period and nobody has given way and people haven't collaborated enough. And we are going to see injuries and it's a desperately sad situation."

STORY: England manager Gareth Southgate expressed some sympathy for former Football Association chairman Greg Clarke but said he had no option but to leave after a series of inappropriate comments during a parliamentary committee meeting on Tuesday.

The 63-year-old Clarke referred to "coloured footballers" while addressing members of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee. He also said south Asian and Afro-Caribbean people had "different career interests" and referred to gay players making a "life choice".

"As he said himself, the terminology he used in a number of areas was not acceptable and doesn't reflect the view of the FA and what we as a team stand for," Southgate told a news conference on Wednesday (November 11) ahead of Thursday's friendly against Ireland.

"I don't think he had any alternative than to take the decision to resign."

The FA has taken strides to become a more diverse organisation and Southgate said he was proud that its 800 staff represented all sections of the community.

Clarke will be replaced by long-serving Board member Peter McCormick on an interim basis while the search goes on for a successor. Southgate said the appointment should be made on suitability for the role, rather than ethnicity or gender.

"I think we have a lot of black and female staff at the FA and I think what they would all say they want is the right person for the role, that could be from any background or gender, but it has to be the right person," Southgate said.

Southgate also hit out at the demands being placed on players and took the opportunity to criticise the packed schedule, due in no small part to the COVID-19 pandemic, after Liverpool central defender Joe Gomez suffered a knee injury earlier in training.