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Dr Rimla Akhtar: First Muslim woman to sit on FA Council steps down from all of her roles at the Football Association

Rimla Akhtar was the first Muslim woman and first woman of South Asian heritage to join the FA Council back in 2014; she was awarded an MBE for services to equality and diversity in sport in 2015 and is Inclusion Board chair at the Rugby Football League

Rimla Akhtar poses in the winners room at The Sunday Times & Sky Sports Sportswomen of the Year awards at Sky on December 5, 2013 in Isleworth, England.
Image: Rimla Akhtar announced her decision to leave her roles at the FA in a Twitter post

Dr Rimla Akhtar has tendered her resignation from all of her positions at the Football Association (FA).

Akhtar had recently joined the FA National Game Board and was also part of the FA Inclusion Advisory Board, chaired by former professional footballer Paul Elliott.

In 2014, Akhtar became the first South Asian woman, and first Muslim woman, to join the FA Council and in 2015, she was awarded an MBE for her contributions to equality and diversity in sport

However, Akhtar will remain in her roles as non-executive director, and chair of the Inclusion Board at the Rugby Football League (RFL).

In a statement, Akhtar said: "Following a period of reflection, I have decided to resign from all my roles at the FA (Council and related Committees, Inclusion Advisory Board and National Game Board).

"Overall, I look back at my time over the past seven years on the FA Council with pride at the progress I've helped to achieve, despite the many, varied challenges we've faced.

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We take a look at British South Asians in the game with help of Stoke centre-back Danny Batth, QPR's Manisha Tailor, Bournemouth's Dinesh Gillela, ex-Arsenal and Liverpool winger Jimmy Carter, and academic Dan Kilvington

"There is always more to be done and I genuinely wish progress and goodness for the sake of the game.

"It has been a privilege to serve our game, as the first woman of Muslim faith and Asian heritage on the FA Council.

"Thank you to the many individuals within and outside our beautiful game who've supported me along the way."

British South Asians in Football

For more stories, features and videos, visit our groundbreaking South Asians in Football page on and stay tuned to Sky Sports News and our Sky Sports digital platforms.

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