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As the virus resurges, mental health woes batter France

ROUEN, France (AP) — The panicked 22-year-old is led to Consultation Room No. 2, with its easy-mop floor and honeycombed meshing over the window....
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    Shamed ex-FA chairman Greg Clarke will KEEP his £190,000-per-year job as FIFA vice-president

    Shamed ex-FA chairman Greg Clarke QUITS his £190,000-per-year job as FIFA vice-president – despite UEFA asking him to STAY ON to protect their voting power after his racist, homophobic and sexist gaffes

    • Clarke will stand down from his £190,000-a-year FIFA vice-president role
    • The 63-year-old had stated UEFA have asked him to stay on until March 2021
    • But after a call with president Aleksander Ceferin, that stance has changed 
    •  Clarke resigned from his role as FA chairman on Tuesday following a disastrous parliamentary hearing where he referred to ‘coloured’ footballers
    •  FIFA issued a strongly-worded statement urging Clarke to ‘do the right thing’

    UEFA have confirmed Greg Clarke will step down from his role as FIFA vice-president, despite  originally asking the disgraced former FA chairman to stay on in the role.

    The 63–year-old resigned as chairman of the Football Association on Tuesday in disgrace following a variety of offensive comments about minority groups.

    However, after being elected by UEFA last year, he plans to remain in his £190,000-a-year post, which runs until 2023.

    Greg Clarke has refused to resign from his £190,000-a-year role as FIFA vice-president

    Confirming his decision this morning, Clarke insisted that he was only staying on due to a request from UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin that he do so.

    ‘I am staying purely at the request of UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin,’ he told Sky Sports on Thursday morning. 

    The decision has already sparked outrage within the football community, with Gary Neville leading the calls for Clarke to be forced into a rethink.

    ‘Unacceptable,’ the former Manchester United defender wrote on Twitter. ‘A resigned Fa chairman stays on as a FIFA Vice President! @FA have you got the guts to deal with this mess. Independent Regulator please ASAP!!’ 

    Clarke has said he has been asked to stay on as FIFA vice-president by Aleksander Ceferin (left)

    Clarke has said he has been asked to stay on as FIFA vice-president by Aleksander Ceferin (left)

    FIFA appeared to give a strong indication on Wednesday evening of their stance on Clarke’s position –  suggesting that it would be the ‘right thing’. 

    A FIFA spokesperson said: ‘FIFA’s zero tolerance position on discrimination remains steadfast and clear: any form of discrimination, including racism, sexism and homophobia, has no place in football.

    ‘In the circumstances and given the nature of his comments, FIFA considers that Mr Clarke did the right thing to resign as Chairman of the FA on Tuesday.

    ‘Mr Clarke was elected to his position on the FIFA Council by UEFA and his term of office runs until 2023. He is, of course, free to resign from the FIFA Council, just as he has resigned as Chairman of the FA. It is for Mr Clarke to take that decision.’

    In a strongly-worded statement on Wednesday night, FIFA urged Clarke to 'do the right thing'

     In a strongly-worded statement on Wednesday night, FIFA urged Clarke to ‘do the right thing’ 

    Clarke made the comments before MPs at a Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport hearing. 

    He referred to ‘coloured footballers’ and prompted further criticism by claiming that gay players made a ‘life choice’. He also referred to a coach telling him young female players did not like having the ball hit hard at them and said there were ‘a lot more South Asians than there are Afro-Caribbeans’ in the FA’s IT department because ‘they have different career interests’.

    Clarke is one of three vice presidents elected by UEFA to sit on FIFA’s decision-making body.

    Meanwhile, Peter McCormick will step into the role as interim FA chairman and the FA Board will begin the process of identifying and appointing a new chairman. 

    Clarke’s most shocking comments from Tuesday’s hearing

    CLARKE ON RACE

    ‘If I look at what happens to high-profile female footballers, to high-profile coloured footballers, and the abuse they take on social media… social media is a free-for-all.’

    CLARKE ON RACE II

    ‘If you go to the IT department at the FA, there’s a lot more South Asians than there are Afro-Caribbeans. They have different career interests.’

    CLARKE ON SEXUALITY

    ‘The real issue is once you run out in front of 60,000 people and you decided on Monday that you wanted to disclose your sexuality – and I would never pressure anybody to disclose their sexuality – what I would want to do is to know that anybody who runs out onto the pitch and says, ‘I’m gay. I’m proud of it and I’m happy. It’s a life choice, and I’ve made it because my life is a better place’, I’d like to believe and I do believe they would have the support of their mates in the changing room.’

    CLARKE ON WOMEN

    ‘I talked to a coach – and I’m not certain this is true – and said, ‘what’s the issue with goalkeepers in the women’s game?’ She said, ‘young girls, when they take up the game (aged) six, seven, eight, just don’t like having the ball kicked at them hard’, right? They prefer to kick it than have it kicked at them. We have to understand we need to look at different ways to bring women into the goalkeeper’s position.’

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