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Soccer-Campaigner Elliott resigns after admitting racist insult

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

By Mike Collett

LONDON, Feb 23 (Reuters) - The English FA accepted the resignation of anti-racism campaigner Paul Elliott on Saturday after the high profile ex-player admitted racially insulting a former friend and business partner in text messages.

The 48-year-old, who last year was considering an offer to become the first black chairman of an English league club at Charlton Athletic, insulted Richard Rufus after a failed business venture between the two.

"The FA has today accepted the resignation of Paul Elliott from all roles representing the organisation," an FA statement said.

"This follows a conversation in which discriminatory abusive comments were made to Richard Rufus."

FA chairman David Bernstein added: "I wish to thank Paul for his dedicated and unstinting work, particularly in the area of anti-racism.

"I am saddened by this turn of events and it is with regret that we accept Paul's resignation. However, the use of discriminatory language is unacceptable regardless of its context and in effect has made Paul's position untenable."

Former Chelsea and Celtic defender Elliott had been a trustee of British soccer's Kick It Out anti-racism campaign since 1996 and also advised European governing body UEFA and world governing body FIFA on racism issues.

In a statement issued by Kick It Out, Elliott explained: "Earlier this week, a former friend and business colleague made public an SMS text message I sent him, in which I used a term which is widely known as being derogatory to my own community.

"I regret using it; it is inappropriate and not part of my everyday vocabulary.

"As an advocate of high standards of public behaviour, and integrity in public life, I know the use of this word sends out mixed messages and contradicts my position as a Kick It Out trustee.

"I will continue to be active in other projects in what I believe to be a true and just cause." (Reporting by Mike Collett, editing by Mark Meadows)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130223/soccer-campaigner-elliott-resigns-after-admitting-racist-insult