Greg Clarke quits as FIFA VP after discriminatory comments

Greg Clarke resigned as a vice president of FIFA on Thursday after coming under pressure from the world governing body to relinquish the position for making discriminatory comments.

The Englishman planned to stay in the $250,000-a-year FIFA role for a few more months despite being forced to quit as English Football Association chairman on Tuesday within hours of making heavily criticized remarks on race, sexuality and gender during a British parliamentary hearing.

FIFA publicly urged Clarke to consider resigning from its ruling council on Wednesday. Clarke said he wanted to protect European voting interests by staying on until he could be replaced as Britain’s FIFA vice president in a vote by the UEFA Congress next year.

But Clarke realized he had to hasten his departure after speaking to European football leader Aleksander Ceferin, who is also a vice president of FIFA.

“Following a telephone call this morning between the UEFA president and Greg Clarke, they agreed with Greg Clarke’s proposal that he should step down with immediate effect from his position as a UEFA representative on the FIFA Council,” UEFA said in a statement.

Clarke can be temporarily replaced on the FIFA Council by a decision of the UEFA executive committee. But for his successor to assume the vacant FIFA vice presidency slot, there has to be a vote of all European football nations at a UEFA Congress with candidacies required three months in advance.

Only the presidents or vice presidents of the English, Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish associations are eligible for the role.

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