The England Football Association announced on Tuesday that Debbie Hewitt would become its first female president from January 2022, ending a long period of speculation over the successor of Greg Clark’s resignation.
The association, founded in 1863, launched an initiative in 2018 to increase diversity among English football players, referees, coaches, managers and departments.
Clarke resigned in November after an argument over a reference to non-white players as colored while answering questions in Parliament.
Debbie Hewitt’s appointment comes at a time when the FA is facing yet another crisis, after the England national team were taunted a few days ago by fans on their knees to highlight racial injustice.
“As the events of the past few months have shown, this is an important moment for English football, with a clear objective for all stakeholders in the game to ensure a healthy and long-term relationship at all levels, “Hewitt said in a statement.
English football was hit by a slump a few weeks ago after an unsuccessful attempt by 12 European clubs, including six English clubs, to establish the escaped European Super League.
The FA said Debbie Hewitt, who is currently president of the restaurant group that owns Restaurant Wagamama, was unanimously selected by an independent seven-member committee and will take up her post at the end of this year, to succeed Peter McCormick, the interim president.