• Saturday, December 09, 2023


Arsenal seek more diversity after team photo backlash

By: Eastern Eye

ARSENAL football club’s have vowed to work to increase diversity at the club after receiving criticism for a women’s team photo that had no ethnic minority player.

The photo, posted on Arsenal’s social media earlier this month, included 27 players and head coach Jonas Eidevall.

“We acknowledge our current women’s first-team squad does not reflect the diversity that exists across the club and the communities we represent,” read an Arsenal statement.

“Increasing participation among young women and girls from diverse backgrounds is a key priority for us at the academy level, with specific measures in place to improve pathways and accessibility.

“Across all our teams, including our men’s and women’s academies, we’re proud of our players from diverse backgrounds who have contributed to our history, success and culture. It’s a priority for the club to continue to drive greater diversity and inclusion and create a sense of belonging for everyone connected to the club.”

In 2021, it was estimated that the proportion of black, Asian and minority players in the Women’s Super League was between 10 and 15 per cent.

There were only three black players in the Lionesses squad that won Euro 2022, with none starting in the final victory over Germany. At this year’s World Cup, Jess Carter and Lauren James did get regular minutes for Sarina Wiegman’s side but were the only ethnically-diverse players in the squad. Earlier this year, a review into women’s football – chaired by former Lioness Karen Carney – identified the need to create greater diversity on and off the pitch.

Ex-Brighton defender Fern Whelan said in the report that the lack of diversity across the women’s game needed to be “urgently addressed”.

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