Asian participation in grassroots football in England has increased since last year, according to figures published by the Football Association.
In 2019, the FA launched its ‘Asian inclusion strategy’ with the aim of increasing participation across all levels of English football.
Male Asians aged sixteen and above make up 11.9% of grassroots players compared with 10.7% last year.
Among women that number has risen to 15.4% from 13.5% in 2021.
In the 2011 census, Asians made up 7.8% of the population of England.
Those figures were produced as the FA released an update on ‘phase two’ of the strategy, which has seen an increase in the number of Asian people playing, coaching, refereeing and in off-pitch roles.
The FA defines the term Asian as “anyone with a background or identity aligned to any of the member countries of the Asian Football Confederation”.
Although grassroots participation has increased, in the professional game the number of players of Asian heritage remains “significantly lower”.
“We’ve made good progress in this area in recent years, but we know there is more to be done to make the game more accessible for diverse communities both on and off the pitch,” said the FA’s head of diversity & inclusion strategic programmes Dal Darroch.
“We’re pleased to see more Asian people playing, coaching and refereeing within the game, and continuing to grow these participation levels remains a strategic priority for our organisation.
“We know that Asian communities make up the largest ethnic minority group in England and we’re dedicated to ensuring this is better reflected across our game.”