The chair of the Referees’ committee, David Elleray, is to step down at the end of the season as the FA Launch an independent investigation into the 67-year-old’s conduct.
At a referees conference at St George’s Park in 2014, Elleray said to a black former FA employee, “You look rather tanned” and “Have you been down a coal mine?”
The former referee later apologised and undertook an equality and diversity training course but a witness claims the FA probe covered up the incident at the time, something the FA, naturally, deny.
His position as chair of the FA referees’ committee sees him act as the gatekeeper of English referees.
In addition, further allegations have been brought to the attention of the FA.
As a result, the man regarded as one of the most powerful officials in world football, is now the subject of a new investigation.
As inews write, “As technical director at the International Football Association Board,” Elleray “also holds a prominent position within the organisation which determines football’s rules.”
They add, “the FA has received correspondence from Martin Cassidy, the chief executive of charity Ref Support UK and a former employee in the FA’s referees department, including further but as yet unproven allegations about Elleray from more former staff members.”
As well as refereeing in the Football League, Premier League and for FIFA, Elleray was also a public school teacher and his life featured in an award-winning documentary, The Man in Black, for Channel 4.
He retired from refereeing in 2003 after nine years in the division.