Arsenal’s Williamson joins FA’s diversity panel

Brazil's Oliveira Debora and England's Leah Williamson (right) during the International Friendly mat

Brazil's Oliveira Debora and England's Leah Williamson (right) during the International Friendly match at the Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough. Picture: Owen Humphreys/PA - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Arsenal defender Leah Williamson has joined the FA’s Football Leadership Diversity Code, which aims to accelerate diversity in positions of power.

The FA plan to launch their voluntary diversity code in October to coincide with Black History Month.

Invented by Paul Elliott, the chair of the body’s inclusion advisory board, the objective is to make boardrooms and technical areas more representative of the game, which black footballers like Raheem Sterling have highlighted as paramount.

The 23-year-old Williamson has joined England captain Harry Kane and Premier League winning captain Jordan Henderson on the panel.

Troy Deeney (chair of the players’ panel), Tyrone Mings, Wes Morgan and Williamson’s international teammates Lucy Bronze and Nikita Parris will provide guidance for the code.

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FA chairman Greg Clarke said: “We all share the same desire to see English football take a lead role in ensuring our game is inclusive – most notably in leadership positions in football.

“The FA, Premier League and EFL are all committed to making further significant progress on diversity and inclusion.

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“Following high-level talks between all parties, I recognise now that the views held by the members of the board were not as they first appeared, and that all parties do support a review of FA Board diversity.”

Meanwhile, Arsenal Women returned to action on Sunday with a pre-Champions League friendly with Aston Villa behind closed doors at Villa Park.

Joe Montemurro’s side wore their new adidas home kit for the very first time, as they continued to build towards this month’s quarter-final in Spain.

Although the score is yet to be officially published it’s believed the Gunners won 5-1, however the main focus is on fitness and preparation ahead of the match with Paris Saint-Germai, who beat Bordeaux 2-1 in the Coupe De France final on Sunday.

It was the first time the Gunners have played a full-sided match since February 28 when they lost to Chelsea in the Continetal Cup final.

It was also the first taste of playing behind closed doors, something they will have to adjust to once the 2020-21 campaign gets underway although the Champions League will also be played without spectators.

There are reports of three other friendlies being set up before the squad jet off to Spain.

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