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The Minister for Sports has ticked off the Football Association (FA) and the Football League (League) for the lackadaisical way in which they tackle sexual equality and employment of women and individuals from the minority communities.

The Government has noted that despite significant financial contribution from them neither of the Leagues has made significant progress as a public body to alleviate and assist women and minorities to progress within these leagues.

Whilst the Government may be criticised for interfering with the administration of this sport I believe that the Government has a duty, both moral and legal, to tackle the leagues. Moreover, as high profile bodies the FA and the League have a public duty and responsibility to take an active role in promoting women and minorities of abilities rather than to do so under the threat of a potential litigation under Discrimination Legislation.

The Government has noted the lack of women and minorities at senior level of the Board of these establishments. Whilst I do not advocate positive discrimination, I do agree with the Minister that these leagues should actively participate in attracting suitably qualified women and individuals from the ethnic communities.

Whilst I agree and advocate positive steps it has not gone unnoticed that this Labour Government has encouraged bodies like the BBC and others to promote women and minorities and whilst it may be controversial it is my view that the Labour Party since its formation of Government has promoted individuals not necessarily on the basis of their ability but their connection with the Labour Party. One such example in my view is the promotion of a Queen’s Counsel (QC) to the Attorney General’s position. I believe her unsuitability for this post is amply demonstrated by her insistence on remaining in office despite employing a person who had overstayed in this country for well over five years contrary to legislation, which she had drafted.

A person who stays once a visa has expired is committing a criminal offence. In my view employing someone who is in the course of committing an offence is itself a conduct unbefitting the person holding a position of an Attorney General.

Many technical arguments have been put forward by the Prime Minister and her Department but the bottom line is that “justice must not only be done but be seen to be done”.

Therefore perception is very important and failure by the Attorney General to accept this as a wrong is evidence, in my view, of promoting individuals because of their connection with the party as opposed to the competence and character. In my view, not accepting this action as wrong and not resigning even as a matter of honour is ample evidence of her unsuitability.


Abdul A. Hafezi

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