LONDON: Paul Elliott, the anti-racism campaigner, has resigned from all his representative roles after making a derogatory comment in a row with a business partner.

Elliott, 48-year-old ex-Chelsea and Celtic ¬†defender, had been a member of the Football Association’s judicial panel and a nominated member of the relevant UEFA ¬†committees.

He has quit both positions and also his role with the anti-discrimination body Kick It Out after a report in The Sun.

The newspaper alleged Elliott had an angry text message dispute over a business venture with former Charlton player Richard Rufus.

A statement from Elliott read: “Earlier this week, a former friend and business colleague, made public a 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.”

‘Unacceptable’

FA chairman David Bernstein said: “The use of discriminatory language is unacceptable, regardless of context. It has made Paul’s position untenable.

“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.”

Earlier this month, Elliott became the first black footballer to collect a CBE at Buckingham Palace for his services to equality and diversity in football.

Elliott, whose career was curtailed by injury in 1992, has been a trustee of Kick It Out since 1996.

His status and roles made him a visible and sought-after figure by the media for his opinions amid the two racist comment rows surrounding Chelsea’s John Terry and also Liverpool’s Luis Suarez in October 2011.

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