Football Association technical director Dan Ashworth must go, says Dame Heather Rabbatts

Frank Dalleres
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Ashworth and fellow FA chiefs were called to testify at a parliamentary inquiry last week (Source: Getty)

Football Association technical director Dan Ashworth’s position is “untenable” following the Eni Aluko race row, says the organisation’s former board member Dame Heather Rabbatts.

The FA apologised to Chelsea striker Aluko on Wednesday after a third investigation finally upheld her allegation that sacked England Women’s manager Mark Sampson used discriminatory language towards her and international team-mate Drew Spence.

Former Millwall deputy chair Rabbatts – the only woman and ethnic minority on the FA board before she quit in frustration four months ago – believes Ashworth should ultimately be held responsible for presiding over a “monocultural” regime.

Read more: Aluko accuses FA chief executive Glenn of "blackmail"

“I think his position is untenable,” she told the BBC. “He has been there since 2012, these issues have been raised – a lack of diversity, a lack of black coaches, the issue of Mark Sampson and Eni, these have all happened. This is about professional judgement. It’s not that he hasn’t tried, but that’s not enough.”

Rabbatts, 61, stepped down as a non-executive FA director in June after five years on the board, citing a lack of progress in relation to ethnic minority coaches.

“One of the reasons I left slightly early is that this issue of the national football centre, which should be leading best practice, is a monoculture, and that is not acceptable,” she added.

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Rabbatts said FA chiefs had not shown genuine contrition over their handling of the row (Source: Getty)

“In a way the story starts not from the failures of internal investigations, but where you have a culture where comments can be made and clearly were made and there isn’t an instant reaction that that is wrong, and that those comments are not appropriate.”

Ex-West Brom sporting director Ashworth, Clarke and FA chief executive Martin Glenn were forced to defend their conduct in an appearance at a parliamentary inquiry last week.

Rabbatts said the FA trio did not show “real contrition and sorrow” over their handling of the Sampson controversy when grilled by MPs.

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