June 2018: FA scraps plans after student’s mum fights ban

A MOTHER’s determination has led the Football Association to scrap plans to restrict talented female footballers from playing for their own schools.

The FA was planning to ban elite players, those playing for top UK clubs and academies, from playing in county football and therefore the English schools’ football competitions; however no similar ban was proposed for boys.

Lisa Bloor, 37, from Rising Bridge, said: “This ban immediately raised a red flag to me.

“This was clearly sex discrimination and furthermore would have a big impact on a girl’s school life in sports making it very unequal for them compared to boys. Preventing any girl from doing what a boy does is outrageous.”

Lisa’s daughter Abby Clarke, 14, plays for Everton and her friends at Haslingden High School Beth Macdonald and Lucy Valentine play for Blackburn and Bolton respectively.

Lisa began an email campaign and sent one to her MP for Haslingden and Hyndburn Graham Jones.

Haslingden High School also backed the campaign and eventually the FA agreed to scrap the plans.

Haslingden High School Headteacher Mark Jackson said: “I firmly believe that opportunities should be available to both boys and girls equally.

“I am delighted that Lisa has highlighted an obvious unfairness in girls’ football and has worked tirelessly to ‘right’ this obvious ‘wrong’.

“At Haslingden High School we value all the benefits that sport brings and our students are involved in a wide range of sports, not only at school level, but also in local, regional, national and even international arenas.

“I have no doubt that the qualities needed to be successful in sport are equally attributable to success throughout life, including in examinations and in the world of work.”

A spokesman for the FA confirmed the proposal was no longer being considered following public consultation, which included discussions with Lisa.

He said the intention had been to limit the workload of players in elite clubs and stressed the FA was committed to doubling the number of women and girls playing football.