Debbie Hewitt is expected to be confirmed as the new Football Association president next month and is expected to take office in January 2022.
Here, the PA News Agency examines some of the main challenges facing the organization’s first female president in its history.
Sexual abuse investigation
The independent review of the football sex abuse scandal was released on March 17 and presented a series of safeguard recommendations for the FA to implement. Hewitt will play a key role in ensuring that these are executed and followed in their entirety.
The way of football
The Premier League’s strategic review, which gained momentum after the controversial Project Big Picture plans were dismissed last October, is underway and is expected to look at issues such as the size of the league, the future of cut and income distribution model. in the game. Hewitt’s predecessor Greg Clarke was heavily involved in the initial PBP talks and while the Premier League is leading the review, the FA and EFL are still being consulted. The FA is also conducting its own investigation into the failed Super League launch in April and is working with the government to update competition laws to protect the sport from similar breakaways in the future. A government-commissioned fan-led review will also examine whether existing governing bodies are fit for purpose and whether an independent regulator is needed.
World Cup 2030
The FA, along with other British associations and Ireland, are expected to decide next year whether or not to launch a bid for the centenary tournament. While Hewitt will not replace Clarke as FIFA vice president, she will still be a key figure in any bid if it comes to fruition, and her position as the European non-executive president of Visa – one of the global partners of Visa. FIFA – can not hurt. There are many hurdles to overcome, with possible competing bids from Spain-Portugal and a group of South American countries, the continent that hosted the first finals in 1930.
successor to Southgate
England manager Gareth Southgate’s contract runs until the end of next year’s World Cup in Qatar, with the delayed Euro 2020 finals starting this week. Unless England achieve resounding success in one or both of these competitions, it is likely that Hewitt will be involved in identifying the right successor to lead the men’s squad.
Ensure diversity, fight against discrimination
Clarke made a series of offensive remarks during a parliamentary committee hearing and, at one point, suggested that ethnic groups had “different professional interests.” Hewitt will want to ensure the FA sets an example by having as diverse a workforce as possible. The FA under Hewitt will also be one of the leading voices in the ongoing struggle to tackle discrimination on social media and in places when spectators return.
The FA is preparing to fund new research into the causes of the link between a football career and an increased risk of death from neurodegenerative disorders, while also working on guidelines regarding the direction of coaching and the trial of permanent substitutes for concussions. Hewitt will also be keenly aware that legal actions are being considered on behalf of the families of footballers suffering from dementia. In a similar action already launched in rugby union, the governing bodies of England and Wales have received a letter of complaint.