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The Football Black List has become the most respected celebration of African and Caribbean achievement in the British game.

While more than 25% of professional players in the UK are black, there is a worrying lack of representation in decision making positions across all areas away from the pitch.

To help address this and pay tribute to those in influential positions – the Football Black List shines a light on those who are inspiring the next generation to consider other roles in the sport.

Household names and highly respected people from the industry including – Rio Ferdinand, Dame Heather Rabbatts CBE, Yaya Toure, Hope Powell CBE, Lord Ouseley and Rachel Yankey OBE – have all featured on the list. They have been highlighted for their efforts away from the pitch, not their achievements on it.

We believe by highlighting role models – working across a wide range of positions in football – young people will be more encouraged to think about how they can get involved in the sport beyond the field of play.

The initiative, which has been supported by The FA, Premier League, Professional Footballers Association, English Football League and Kick It Out, also provides an opportunity to reflect on how diverse the football industry is, discuss the under representation of people from African and Caribbean backgrounds – and, most importantly, how to address this issue.

Vitally, the Football Black List also pays tribute to individuals making a difference within the community and at the grassroots level of the game.

The list is published exclusively in The Voice Newspaper every year to ensure it is rooted in the African and Caribbean community and has received widespread mainstream coverage across the UK on the BBC and Sky Sports, as well as in The Guardian, The Times, The Daily Mirror, The Daily Star and Independent.

Football Black List hosts a celebration event each year to celebrate those on the list. The last three events have been held at the Village Underground in Shoreditch and it has previously been held at Wembley Stadium twice, as well as the House of Lords and the London Olympics HQ.

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