England-ALSHARQIYA June 8: The English Football Association announced on Tuesday that Debbie Hewitt will become its first female president from January 2022, ending a long period of speculation about the successor to resigned Greg Clark.
The association, which was founded in 1863, launched an initiative in 2018 to increase the diversity among players, referees, coaches, leaders and departments in English football.
Clarke resigned in November after a row over a reference to non-white players as colored while answering questions in Parliament.
Hewitt's appointment comes at a time when the FA is facing another crisis after the England national team was jeered a few days ago by fans on their knees to highlight racial injustice.
"As events in recent months have demonstrated, this is an important moment for English football, with a clear goal for all stakeholders in the game to ensure a healthy, long-term relationship at all levels," Hewitt said in a statement.
English football was hit by a crisis a few weeks ago after a failed attempt by 12 European clubs, including six clubs from England, to establish the breakaway European Super League.
The FA said that Hewitt, who is currently president of the restaurant group that owns Wagamama restaurant, was unanimously chosen by an independent committee of seven members, and will leave her position at the end of this year, to succeed Peter McCormick, the interim president.