FA knew of Phil Neville tweets before making him England women’s manager

first_imgShare on Facebook news Phil Neville appointment a kick in the teeth for better qualified coaches The Football Association knew about Phil Neville’s sexist tweets before appointing him as England women’s team manager and has said he will not be charged over the messages because they “would not meet the threshold” for such action.Neville apologised on Wednesday for the tweets in a statement released by the FA, saying they “are not a true and genuine reflection of either my character or beliefs”. He was supported by his wife, Julie, who remarked that her husband was the “most honest, kind, generous, gentle and hard-working” man she had met.But her words are unlikely to signal the end of the matter, with the pressure group Kick It Out reacting with outrage to Neville’s appointment and accusing the FA of “what appears to be double standards regarding the threshold for what social media posts are considered discriminatory”.The Guardian understands senior executives at the FA were made aware of at least some of the social media postings from 2011 and 2012 by the former Manchester United footballer, including one in which he makes light of domestic abuse. Share via Email Thank you for your feedback. England women’s football team Louise Taylor The FA Share on Twitter Q&A Explainer: Phil Neville appointment Roisin Wood, the chief executive of Kick It Out, expressed “serious concerns” over the recruitment process which led to Neville’s appointment. She said it was hard to accept that a BAME candidate had not been considered given Neville got the job without applying or that a qualified woman could not be found.She had queried whether the FA would charge Neville over his “misogynistic and sexist comments”. References to gender can bring a misconduct charge, according to the FA’s regulations. Rio Ferdinand was suspended for three matches and fined £25,000 in 2014 over a tweet that used the word “sket”, which means a promiscuous girl or woman.Wood received a written response from Glenn. “The assessment of the FA’s integrity/regulatory team is that those comments would not meet the threshold for issuing a charge against any participants [in football] but as part of the induction process, Phil will be educated on all aspects of the FA’s regulatory functions and his responsibilities thereunder,” he stated.Glenn also said that two of the FA’s preferred four candidates had dropped out when they became aware of the stipulation of thorough background checks. “This has not been a straightforward process,” he wrote.“We have been determined to find someone who we think can inspire the team to the very highest levels. I have personally been impressed by Phil’s determination, his integrity and values that came through strongly in his background checks and references.” Hide Who is Phil Neville? Phil Neville is a former professional footballer who represented England and won several titles with his boyhood club Manchester United. The 41-year-old has now been appointed coach of the England women’s team, his first managerial role in the sport.How has his appointment been met?The decision to give the job to Neville has proven controversial. Firstly this is down to his lack of experience as a coach, especially in the women’s game. It has also been reported that Neville did not apply for the vacancy until he was encouraged to do so by the Football Association.Why has he become embroiled in a Twitter storm?Neville has come under scrutiny for messages he posted on the social media network. Several messages that could be construed as sexist were found on his account, including one particularly bad one about domestic abuse (seemingly intended as a “joke”). There was another about equal pay and an apparently earnest message which apologised for wishing good morning to his male followers only because “I thought the women would of [sic] been busy preparing breakfast”. Neville has now deactivated his account.Is this bad news for the Football Association?The controversy carries extra resonance because Neville was the man chosen to replace Mark Sampson, the previous England women’s coach, who was removed after a scandal in which he was found to have made racially discriminatory comments to two England women’s players, Eni Aluko and Drew Spence. Phil Neville Women’s football Show Was this helpful? Share on LinkedIn Share on Pinterest Share on Messenger It read: “Relax I’m back chilled – just battered the wife!!! Feel better now!” In 2012 he posted: “Morning men couple of hours cricket be4 work sets me up nicely for the day!” When asked why he failed to mention women, Neville wrote: “When I said morning men I thought the women would of been busy preparing breakfast/getting kids ready/making the beds – sorry morning women!”The FA decided not to explain publicly that it was aware of Neville’s tweets when it announced his appointment on Tuesday. On Wednesday its chief executive, Martin Glenn, said he had been impressed by Neville’s “integrity and values” after background checks.Neville said on Wednesday: “Following comments made a number of years ago I would like to clarify that they were not and are not a true and genuine reflection of either my character or beliefs and would like to apologise.“I am fully aware of my responsibilities as the England women’s head coach and am immensely proud and honoured to have been given the role.”It is understood a number of leading candidates for the women’s team job, male and female, dropped out of the recruitment process. But the appointment of Neville, who has little to no experience of the women’s game and has taken charge of only one men’s game, as caretaker manager for Salford, has perplexed many.Vicky Huyton, founder of the Female Coaching Network, told the Guardian she had nothing against Neville but that he was completely ill‑qualified. “This is appallingly embarrassing for the FA,” she said. “In Sue Campbell they have one of the most influential women in British sport who became head of women’s football in 2016, so this is mind-blowing. It’s an insult to male and female coaches who are more suited to the role.” Topics Share on WhatsApp Read more Reuse this contentlast_img

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