The Football Association was forced to defend the appointment of the former player Michael Johnson to its new Inclusion Advisory Board, aimed at promoting equality in the game, after he stated in 2012 that homosexuality was "detestable", reports The Guardian. Johnson, who played for Birmingham City, Derby and Notts County as a defender, will meet the other nine members of the IAB for the first time this month after the establishment of the panel in December.
It is chaired by the FA board member Heather Rabbatts and includes Graeme Le Saux.
However, in 2012 Johnson refused to back the FA anti-homophobia campaign when discussing ethics and racism in the game on a television programme.
Rabbatts said: "I have spoken to Michael in detail about this and I accept his account of what happened and his regret over the incident. More importantly for me and for Michael, we acknowledge that through his own personal journey he has a huge amount to offer to the Inclusion Advisory Board."
The FA was unaware of Johnson's comments when it took the decision to appoint the 40-year-old but this news represents fresh embarrassment for the organisation.
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