Manchester United - Rio in late England recall

Rio Ferdinand

The FA have announced that England manager Roy Hodgson and Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand will join the FA Commission incorporated to try and improve the English national game.

The fact that this panel is comprised of solely men has attracted criticism in recent days, namely from The FA's only female board member, Heather Rabbatts.

Rabbatts spoke out against the commission, criticising it's make up. The panel was then comprised of just eight individuals, all white males.

The Manchester United defender becomes the first non-white member of the FA Commission, and joins FA vice-chairman Roger Burden, former England manager Glenn Hoddle, ex-England defender Danny Mills, League Managers' Association chairman Howard Wilkinson, Professional Footballers' Association chairman Ritchie Humphreys, Football League chairman Greg Clarke and Crewe director of football Dario Gradi on the panel.

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Ferdinand will be joined by England manager, Roy Hodgson - whom Ferdinand endured a stormy relationship with during his time with the national side. Ferdinand opted for international retirement in May 2013, having not made an appearance in an England shirt since 2011.

Following the appointment of both Hodgson and Ferdinand, Rabbatts went on record to praise The FA's decision, whilst continuing to leave a lingering scepticism over the composition of the panel.

Rabbatts' statement, released on Sunday evening - is as follows: 'While I can appreciate the appointment of Roy and Rio and of course welcome a degree of diversity, there are still questions which remain about the work and role of the FA commission.

'The issue of real diversity, and the insight that can bring, is still not fully resolved nor are the exact terms of reference of the commission and the continued absence of the Premier League from its membership.

'(FA Chairman) Greg Dyke was right to say that this project was the FA's flagship for the future well-being of our national team and it is essential that it is overseen by a body that is truly credible and has the trust and confidence of the whole of football.

'This is still not the case - today's announcement is a start but there is a lot more work to do'.

Dyke confirmed that Ferdinand's appointment had been on the agenda for some time, saying: 'We have been speaking to Rio and Manchester United for some time about him joining the group - before we named the other members of the commission. However, as he is a current Manchester United player we needed to be sure that Rio had the necessary time to fully participate on the commission and not impact on his day job. It has been agreed he does'.

Dyke also spoke about the importance of Hodgson's introduction to the commission, stating: 'It is important Roy can offer his views as the current manager of the national team and share the knowledge he has gained when working for many years in a number of countries'.

image: © dullhunk

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