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Soccer-Scudamore remains as Premier League chief despite sexist emails

Reuters

* Advisory board finds no discrimination at PL

* Scudamore vows to support women's inclusion in soccer (Adds Scudamore quotes, background)

LONDON, May 19 (Reuters) - Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore will keep his job despite calls for his head after he sent sexist remarks in emails leaked by a former personal assistant.

The Premier League said on Monday it had acted on the findings of an inclusion advisory board that there was no discrimination in its working environment and had accepted the 54-year-old Scudamore's apology.

"Responses from many women in employment at the Premier League, and extensive consultations with others, establish that there is no climate of disrespect of women in the workplace. This is an important consideration, one that is vital to forming a view as to whether the emails in question reflect a wider problem," a Premier League statement said.

"With these findings in mind the Clubs accepted the chief executive's genuine and sincere apology. They also accepted his undertaking to take active steps to prevent a recurrence.

"In these circumstances and in the light of a previously unblemished record over 15 years of service to the Premier League, the Clubs resolved unanimously that no further disciplinary action is required or justified."

Scudamore was forced to apologise last week after a Sunday newspaper revealed details of emails he sent to friends that were exposed by the female employee who had a temporary job at the Premier League.

The contents of the emails were described as "completely unacceptable" by Sports Minister Helen Grant.

"Entering into email exchanges of this nature was wrong and the apology I have made is sincere, as is the contrition I feel," Scudamore said in a statement on Monday.

SCUDAMORE APOLOGY

"These exchanges do not reflect my views towards women in football, the workplace or in general. It is something that will never be repeated.

"I will continue to do my utmost personally, and through all the Premier League's means to help promote diversity and inclusion, develop the women's game and support women who want be involved in football at any level."

The advisory board said: "These emails were private communications between friends of long-standing and the temporary PA was not exposed to them in the course of her duties but had to search for them in a private email account which she was not authorised to access.

"Examination of a very large quantity of emails and other documents, including those copied without authorisation by the former employee, indicate that there is no evidence of wider discriminatory attitudes or inappropriate language or a general attitude of disrespect to women."

However, Scudamore, who according to media reports earns more than 1.2 million pounds ($2.02 million) a year, faced accusations of hypocrisy after claiming he supported women's inclusion in the game.

Australian Moya Dodd, one of three women on the executive committee of world football's governing body FIFA, said she was dismayed by Scudamore's comments.

"It's time we challenged ourselves about whether we could be more open to females and we are as inclusive as we can be," Dodd, a lawyer who is also a vice-president of the Asian Football Confederation, said.

Scudamore has helped make the Premier League the most lucrative league in the world since taking over as chief executive in 1999. The competition now has a global TV rights deal worth more than three billion pounds.

($1 = 0.5943 British Pounds) (Reporting by Rex Gowar; Editing by)

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