Football: New Chair of the English Football Association (FA)

By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw

The new Chair of the English FA will be a woman, the first ever in its 157-year history.

She is Debbie Hewitt and will take over the reins of the world’s oldest football association on 1 January 2022.

With her extensive and lengthy corporate background, which includes non-executive chair of Visa Europe, it is expected that she will bring to the FA the particular expertise which many observers consider that the FA needs in the field of governance.

She replaces Greg Clarke who resigned in controversial circumstances in November last year.

On her appointment, she remarked as follows:

As the events in recent months have shown, this is a significant moment in time for English football, with a clear purpose for all stakeholders to secure the long-term health of the game at all levels.”

And added as follows:

I’ve been passionate about football from a very young age and I’m excited by the opportunity to play my part in shaping the future of something that means so much to so many.”

Her appointment to such an important position in association football (soccer), which is the world’s most popular and lucrative sport, represents yet another milestone for women in sport!

Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at ‘’