Exclusive: Did the FA just swap the faces of the two black players in a photo?

In a game of spot the difference, they put Sturridge’s head on Rose’s body


Black people look really similar. So similar, it’s tough to distinguish sometimes. That seems to be what England football’s governing body, the FA, accidentally suggested when they swapped the faces of two black players in a photo for a game of spot the difference.

Inside the match programme for Tuesday’s fixture against Spain, the children’s Junior Lions section featured a guessing game using two pictures of the team from their lacklustre 0-0 draw against Slovenia. While obviously an honest mistake, the designer changed numbers, edited the captain’s armband onto players – and swapped the faces of Daniel Sturridge and Danny Rose, the only two black players on the team.

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It asked kids at the game: “How’s your football knowledge? While away the half-time break with our quiz. Can you find the five differences in the two shots from England’s match with Sovenia?” The photos show Sturridge and Rose on opposite sides of the picture – taken of the team shortly before kick off. The team is made up of five white players and four who are mixed race, leaving Rose and Sturridge as the only black players for a face swap.

The FA apologised, telling The Tab: “We have been made aware of an issue regarding the match day programme. We have raised and sought an explanation from the publishers and apologise for any offence caused.” Although Kick It Out, British football’s anti-racism campaign, said they would not comment because they didn’t find it discriminatory.

Meanwhile just two months after FIFA – the governing body of all football in the world – said they had triumphantly conquered any form of racism in football by disbanding their entire anti-racism taskforce, swinging open the doors of their Swiss headquarters and bellowing loudly: “The job is done.”