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Arsenal break silence after backlash from all-white women’s team photo

Arsenal break silence after backlash from all-white women’s team photo

Arsenal have broken their silence.

Arsenal have released a statement upon receiving criticism that their women’s first-team squad does not feature a single player of colour.

A 27-player women’s team photo went viral earlier this month due to a failure to include any players from non-white backgrounds.

The picture prompted a flurry of responses, with some querying the stark disparity in diversity between the men’s and women’s playing staff at Arsenal, and others noting how the squad failed to replicate the demographics of north London.

And Arsenal have now broken their silence on the squad photo.

In a statement published in the Athletic, the club said: “We acknowledge our current women’s first-team squad does not reflect the diversity that exists across the club and the communities we represent.

“Increasing participation among young women and girls from diverse backgrounds is a key priority for us at academy level, with specific measures in place to improve pathways and accessibility.

“Across all our teams, including our men’s and women’s academies, we’re proud of our players from diverse backgrounds who have contributed to our history, success and culture.

“It’s a priority for the club to continue to drive greater diversity and inclusion and create a sense of belonging for everyone connected to the club.”

The lack of diversity in the women’s game has been a topic of discussion in the past, with few non-white players in England’s triumphant European Championship squad back in 2021.

Indeed, as per the Athletic, non-white representation in the English women’s national team was at its height during the Noughties.

The highest percentage of non-white players in the squad for a major tournament was 28.6 per cent at the World Cup in 2007 when Hope Powell was the manager.

That number was more than halved by Euro 2022 at 13 per cent (three out of 23 players) while just 8.6 per cent (two out of the 23) at this summer’s World Cup were from non-white backgrounds.

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Featured Image Credit: Arsenal

Topics: Football, Arsenal, Womens Football, Womens Super League, Womens World Cup