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UPDATE 1-Soccer-Clarke resigns as FA Chairman after referring to BAME players as 'coloured'

LONDON, Nov 10 (Reuters) - Greg Clarke has resigned as English Football Association chairman hours after referring to players from the BAME community as “coloured” during questions from members of parliament on Tuesday.

"We can confirm that Greg Clarke has stepped down from his role as our chairman," the FA said here in a statement.

“Peter McCormick will step into the role as interim FA Chairman with immediate effect and the FA Board will begin the process of identifying and appointing a new chair in due course.”

Clarke, speaking in front of a Digital, Culture, Media & Sport select committee, was discussing issues around inclusion and diversity in grassroots football when he made the comment.

Asked about the possibility of a social media backlash for gay players ‘coming out’, Clarke said: “If I look at what happens to high-profile female footballers, to high-profile coloured footballers, and the abuse they take on social media.... social media is a free-for-all.”

The FA issued a statement soon after saying: “Greg Clarke is deeply apologetic for the language he used to reference members of the ethnic minority community during the select committee hearing today.

“He acknowledged that using the term ‘coloured’ is not appropriate and wholeheartedly apologised during the hearing.” (Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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