Sol Campbell says the FA has admitted it has an intrinsic problem with racism following his allegation this summer that he was denied the England captaincy because of his skin colour.
Speaking at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, Campbell said that ever since he became involved with the Football Association as a 14-year-old youngster, he has felt there was a problem with racism within the organisation.
“[FA Chairman] Greg Dyke has come out and said there is a problem, officially,” Campbell said – a statement he believes was in response to his own claim that he would have been “England captain for more than 10 years” had he been white.
“Some people just couldn’t handle the things I was saying. Now Greg Dyke has come out and said there is a problem and there are other problems associated with the FA that come from race. Thank God someone’s actually said something.
“A lot of people didn’t believe me, but now they are starting to believe,” the former England defender added. “Talk is cheap, but hopefully things can start to move on and include inclusion.”
Campbell pointed to the lack of black coaches and non-white staff within the FA as an example of what he sees as an institutional problem: “You’ve got to represent the team, and for me in the last 20 years I’ve not seen a coach, I’ve not seen a physio, I’ve not seen a runner at headquarters, I’ve seen nothing change,” he said.
“I’ve been connected with the FA since I was 14 years old. I’ve been through the whole process of the FA, and I know what I’m talking about. There is a problem.”
The FA have so far not responded to Campbell’s latest accusations, but Dyke did say in July that something had to be done about the FA Council, calling the governing body “still overwhelmingly male, overwhelmingly white in a world that isn’t overwhelmingly male and white, and somehow that has to be changed. We have to try and change it but we’re not alone, supporters have got to try and change it as well.”
At the festival Campbell reiterated his belief that he was denied the opportunity to captain England because of his skin colour: “My colour did count against me,” he said. “I should have captained my country more than three times.”
The author of Campbell’s authorised biography, Simon Astaire concluded, “Fundamentally he feels there is intrinsic racism in the Football Association.”