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Women's group leads calls for Scudamore investigation

ESPN staff
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Richard Scudamore: "I apologise for any offence caused" © Getty Images
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Richard Scudamore is facing calls for an investigation into his position as Premier League chief executive over sexist comments made in private emails.

Women in Football, a group aiming to improve women's representation in the game, have said they were "shocked" by reports of Scudamore's comments, which were leaked by his former personal assistant to the Sunday Mirror.

A spokesperson for the group said: "We expect the Premier League to conduct a full and proper investigation. Sexism, as with racism and homophobia, is not acceptable in the workplace."

Scudamore released a statement apologising for the "inappropriate" comments and said he had made "an error of judgement".

He said the comments were made in "private emails exchanged between colleagues and friends of many years."

"They were received from and sent to my private and confidential email address, which a temporary employee who was with the organisation for only a matter of weeks, should not have accessed and was under no instruction to do so," added Scudamore.

"Nonetheless I accept the contents are inappropriate and apologise for any offence caused, particularly to this person."

Dame Tessa Jowell has also criticised Scudamore, saying the comments were "incredibly disappointing" and "unacceptable".

"His championing of women's football, and women's football coming of age, is undermined by this," former culture secretary Jowell told BBC's Sportsweek.

"You can't have one position publicly and then be laughing privately. In the world of social media and email, there is no public and private.

"I think what Richard needs to reflect on, and I think he's a decent man, is the disconnect between what he thinks privately and what he has tried to achieve publicly.

"I hope his public commitment to women's sport will prevail. He's shown contrition and will be mortified by this, as indeed he should be."

When asked whether Scudamore should consider his position, Jowell added: "That's a matter for his bosses.

"I expect and hope that as a changed person he will reflect and make absolutely clear that these unacceptable views he circulated privately, he will never, ever express again."

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