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Football Association plans to increase female participation on board to three from 2018-19

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FA Chairman Greg Clarke says he will resign if modernisation plans are rejected

Three women will be on English football's most senior board, under new proposals from the Football Association.

The FA board, which appoints the England manager, will include three female members from the 2018-19 season if plans are approved in May - the only current female member is Dame Heather Rabbatts.

The proposals come as the FA holds talks with other British associations about a Team GB women's side in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

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In a series of wide-ranging proposals, the FA board will also recommend that its size is cut from 12 to 10 members from next season.

"It's really important that the FA is representative of society," FA chairman Greg Clarke told Sky Sports News HQ.

"We need ethnic diversity, we need gender diversity. There's a lot of work showing that a more diverse board are more effective. Throughout the business world, diverse boards make better decisions. I think that's true in football too.

"We wanted a smaller board that was more efficient. The trouble with larger boards is they become cumbersome. We decided on 10, and wanted at least 30 per cent gender diversity, so that became three. We've all agreed a path that allows three women on the board by the end of next season."

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The FA board will also recommend an additional 11 members on the FA council, to make it 'more inclusive and representative', with an age limit of 65 for new members.

Plans include further representatives from disability, supporters, British University College Sport, Association of Colleges, FA Youth Council, Futsal, National Game and Leagues at steps five and six.

It is also proposed there will be two representatives from BAME football communities, and the Women's Super and Premier League.

The FA council will formally vote on the recommendations on April 3, before an annual general meeting in May, and Clarke confirmed he will resign if the proposals are not accepted by the government.

"If the Government don't want to accept it, who am I to argue but, of course, I will resign," he added. "This is a transformational leap forward and if the Government don't accept this, I'm not sure what else we can do."

Great Britain's men's and women's teams both reached the quarter-finals at the 2012 Olympics
Image: Team GB's women were knocked out in the quarter-finals of the London 2012 football tournament and did not compete in Rio

Clarke also revealed talks are continuing between British associations over a Team GB Women's football side in the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.

"The home nations are discussing how we can achieve that for the women's game," he said. "We've got a follow-up meeting to look at the practicalities of making it happen.

"I'm hopeful that the four of us together [England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland] will create a partnership of equals that will allow our women to compete in the Olympics going forward."

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