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Clubs must interview BAME managerial candidates under new EFL rule

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(Reuters) – England Football League (EFL) clubs will interview at least one Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) candidate for any first-team managerial position from now on to improve equality in the sport.

Friday’s announcement comes on the back of an 18-month trial period, with the EFL clubs voluntarily committing to interview at least one BAME candidate as part of their recruitment process.

“That commitment has now been formalised with the introduction of a new regulation ensuring that the principle of providing more opportunities to BAME candidates is mandatory when clubs consider multiple applicants for a role,” the EFL said in a statement following their 2019 close season conference.

Last year, England’s Football Association had made a similar pledge to adopt a version of the “Rooney Rule” when appointing future England managers.

The rule, named after former NFL diversity committee chairman Dan Rooney, was introduced in the NFL in 2003 and obliged clubs to interview at least one minority candidate for every senior head coach role.

The EFL also provided clarity on regulations on the matter of clubs observing training session of their opponents following the ‘spygate’ controversy involving Championship sides Leeds United and Derby County last season.

Derby complained to the EFL that Leeds coach Marcelo Bielsa sent a member of his staff to their training ground before they visited the Yorkshire club in a Championship clash, prompting an investigation from the governing body.

“The EFL reached the conclusion that the conduct undertaken by Leeds United in observing opponents’ training sessions was a breach of regulation 3.4.,” the EFL said.

They introduced a new regulation which said no clubs shall “directly or indirectly observe (or attempt to observe) another club’s training session in the period of 72 hours prior to any match scheduled to be played between those respective clubs”.

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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