Daily Digest: Debbie Hewitt set to become FA's first ever chairwoman


In today’s news: Debbie Hewitt is set to become the FA’s first chairwoman in history, Tamara Zidanšek and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova reach the French Open semi-finals, and Kellie Harrington defeats Caroline Dubois in an Olympic qualifier final.

Debbie Hewitt nominated to become first female chair of FA

Debbie Hewitt will become the FA’s first ever chairwoman in its 157-year history. The appointment is subject to confirmation by the FA Council next month.

Once the formalities are completed, Hewitt will take over from interim FA chair Peter McCormick in January. McCormick was temporarily in the role after Greg Clarke stepped down in November, following inappropriate comments about black and gay people.

Hewitt, who received an MBE in 2011 for services to business and the public sector, is currently non-executive chair of Visa Europe, The Restaurant Group plc, BGL Group and White Stuff. She will step down from The Restaurant Group when she takes up her role with the FA.

“I'm delighted to be nominated for the role of non-executive chair of The Football Association," she said. “As the events in recent months have shown, this is a significant moment in time for English football, with a clear purpose for all stakeholders to secure the long-term health of the game at all levels.

“I've been passionate about football from a very young age and I'm excited by the opportunity to play my part in shaping the future of something that means so much to so many.”

Tamara Zidanšek and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova reach last four of Roland-Garros

Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova reached her first Grand Slam semi-final at the French Open, battling to overcome Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina 6-7, 6-2, 9-7.

She will meet Tamara Zidanšek in the semi-final on Thursday. The Slovenian also endured a three-set contest, eventually defeating Spain’s Paula Badosa 7-5 4-6 8-6.

“"It feels overwhelming. It's hard to take it in this fast. But I'm just trying to focus on my game, on myself,” Zidanšek said. "Of course it was a great opportunity for the both of us to get into the semi-finals, but I guess I managed to keep my composure today a little bit better than her. But still, it was a tough battle in the end."

The French Open quarter-finals continue tomorrow.


Kellie Harrington wins Olympic boxing qualifying event

Irish boxer Kellie Harrington triumphed in the lightweight division at the European Olympic qualifying event in Paris. The 2018 world champion defeated Britain’s Caroline Dubois on a split decision in the final.

Both Harrington and Dubois had already qualified for Tokyo 2020, but the victory will give the former a more favourable seeding at the Games.

It will be Harrington’s first appearance at the Olympics. The 31-year-old, a European Games silver medallist, is currently ranked sixth in the world. The 20-year-old Dubois will also be making her Olympic debut, having clinched gold at the Youth Olympic Games in 2018.

Britain's Lauren Price won the middleweight division, claiming a unanimous win over Russia's Zenfira Magomedalieva. Again, the world, European Games and Commonwealth champion had already sealed Olympic qualification, but the result will give her a boost going into Tokyo 2020. 

Karen Carney fronts campaign raising awareness of gambling harm on women

Former England star Karen Carney is aiming to raise awareness of the harm of gambling on women through the campaign TalkBanStop.

The campaign brings together gambling support charities GamCare, Gamban and GAMSTOP, who together offer a combination of free tools to block access to gambling websites, alongside support that will help those worried about their gambling to take back control.

Carney, who played football for Arsenal, Birmingham and Chelsea, is aware of the prominence of gambling around football in particular and has seen first-hand the challenges that many women are facing.


According to the campaign, women are more likely to hide their gambling from their significant others and are more likely to feel stigma and shame acutely, if they have issues with gambling. Unawareness of support and treatment, and the perception that gambling problems are a ‘male issue’, has previously been a barrier for women to seek help.

“Campaigns like TalkBanStop are so important in raising awareness of the free resources
available to everyone out there, particularly women who have battled with gambling around sport,” Carney said. “Ahead of the upcoming Euros, it is important we raise awareness of the support that is available.

“There is a stigma associated for women and challenges around speaking out and seeking help, so it’s key to highlight the link between gambling and sport to help these women and girls on their journey to recovery.”

Weird Euros project raising funds for Goals4Girls

The Weird Euros project will be raising money for football development programme Goals4Girls during the upcoming men’s European Championships.

A collection of weird moments from previous European Championships have been printed onto beer mats. The artists include well-known names such as David Shrigley, Chris Simpson and Pentagram, and young and upcoming stars such as Isobel Mehta, Israel Kujore and Robyn Nichol.

All money raised will go towards Goals4Girls, which aims to support young women and girls aged 11 to 16 in raising their aspirations, confidence and motivational skills by breaking down social and personal barriers through sports and education.

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