Sport Matters – Too black to coach? Sport Matters asks, when it comes to top football coaches, why are they still nearly all white?
Played by millions, watched by billions, even at its most partisan football has the power to unite the world. But while race is no barrier to success as a player, becoming a top coach, it seems, is a lot less likely if you’re black.
Of the 16 head coaches leading their teams in this year’s Africa Cup of Nations, only three are black.
With African national teams still seeking white European coaches above black Africans, and with so few black professional footballers making the transition to become coaches at any level, Sport Matters asks, when it comes to football coaching, are some people just too black to coach?
In the UK we meet with former Dutch international and new Burton Albion manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. When appointed in November 2014, Hasselbaink became only the third black manager in professional English football – a remarkable anomaly in a country where 25% of the professional footballers are black. We hear from Brendon Batson, a pioneering black footballer in England in the 1970s who now works with the English Football Association to change the coaching structures from being so overwhelmingly white.
We travel to Ghana where former international players and head coaches give us their brutally honest opinions as to why, on the eve of the Africa Cup of Nations, the Ghana FA appointed Avram Grant, a white Israeli, as manager of the Black Stars. We’re given exclusive access to the Ghanaian squad and in a special interview with the Ghana FA President Nyantakyi Kwesi, we explore the possible effects of a colonial hangover with white coaches seemingly afforded greater cache and kudos. We ask him why on a short-list of five candidates for the head coach’s job, there was not a single black candidate.
With the paucity of black coaches a reality across the world, we went to FIFA head quarters in Zurich, Switzerland, to ask the Vice President of the game’s global governing body Jeffrey Webb, why so little has been done to challenge one of the game’s great imbalances.
In our studios in the iconic Shard building in London, we’re joined for a panel discussion by Piara Powar of the Football Against Racism in Europe network, Heather Rabbatts, a director of the English FA, and former England captain Sol Campbell. They offer their unique perspectives on the subject of black coaches with Campbell revealing just how difficult it is for a black player to move from playing to coaching.
And in an exclusive interview, his first since becoming UEFA’s Global Ambassador for Diversity and Change, former AC Milan head coach, footballing superstar and the only player to have won four Champions Leagues with three different clubs, Clarence Seedorf sheds new light on the topic of race and sport through his professional and personal experience.
Through a compelling blend of documentary and discussion, Sport Matters unravels the myths and stereotypes of a much discussed and much misunderstood subject, whilst uncovering the real stories of those most affected.
click here to view direct from Al Jazeera English (restricted in some countries)
Source: Al Jazeera English