England manager Gareth Southgate revealed that British South Asian talent needs to be unearthed for the sport to thrive. British South Asian footballers only constitute 0.25 percent amongst the top four tiers of English football. He said that this percentage was one of the biggest statistical anomalies of football. The FA have released a video portraying the South Asian players, coaches, and match officials to mark South Asian Heritage month.
“We should be looking at how we scout,” England manager Gareth Southgate said. “Historically, there has been a sort of unconscious bias, maybe the perception that some Asian players were not as athletic, they weren’t as strong [as other players]. That is such a ridiculous generalization.”
“In a lot of communities now, football is being played, in all sorts of variety of areas, so, I think [in terms of] scouting the Asian community, we’ve got to be creative in getting into the places where some of these kids might be playing,” he added. “And encouraging them into broader leagues where they can be assessed more easily against other players, and then making that step into the academy system.”
FA recently started the Asian inclusion strategy as part of its Bringing Opportunities to Communities initiative. The initiative was launched in 2019 with the aim to include the Asian communities in football on as well as off the pitch. The main focus was on five aspects: The FA and its culture; pathways; grassroots football; women and girls; and community engagement.