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Ex-international Aluko highlights lack of diversity in Women's Super League

Eniola Aluko Source: Getty Images

The FA Women's Super League and England women's national team have potentially taken backwards steps in diversity, says former England striker Eniola Aluko.

Earlier this month, Manchester United coach Casey Stoney labelled the WSL (where eight Matildas ply their trade) "very white" and claimed it's diversity was worse than in the men's game - a sentiment echoed by 100-cap international Aluko.

An estimated 10-15 percent of WSL players were black as of June 2020, around half the representation in the men's English Premier League.

Attention was also drawn to last week's England Lionesses squad, which featured just one player of colour.

"I'm not sure progress has been made," Aluko, who is Aston Villa's director of women's football, said to Sky Sports News.

"I think when you look at the representation across the England women's team, it is concerning.

"I'm not one to say that anybody should be picked just because of their race, but I certainly think that in a country like England you have to ask the question of why there isn't as much representation as certainly there was before, under managers like Hope Powell.

"I think there's a variety of reasons for that, maybe there's a disconnect between academies now, and where the game is professionalising, there's a little bit of a disconnect between inner-city talent and academies that are training in the suburbs of cities."

"I think that we need to make sure that we are assessing everybody objectively whichever background they come from, whichever experience they've had."