A rule introduced in 2003 by US Ambassador to Ireland Dan Rooney will be instrumental in helping the Players Football Association (PFA) stamp out the growing problem of racism in English football, it was announced today.

With influential black players such as Rio and Anton Ferdinand touching on the idea of a separate ‘black players association’, PFA Chief Executive Gordon Taylor has been coming under increasing pressure on the subject of racism and has announced a tough six point plan to tackle the issue, with the ‘Rooney Rule’ taken centerfold, the Irish Examiner reports.

The rule states that all teams must interview at least one minority applicant for any high ranking coaching or managing job and was introduced after Pittsburgh Steelers owner Rooney noticed that there were very few black coaches in the NFL, despite black players being a clear majority. The rule proved to be very successful with more black coaches and managers being steadily brought in and Rooney’s own Steelers hired their first black manager in 2007.

PFA chief Taylor must now be hoping for similar success with his six point plan that also includes tougher penalties for racial abuse (including sackings), quicker investigations into alleged racial incidents and awareness meetings set up for anybody who is found culpable of any form of racism.

US ambassador Dan Rooney, owner of the Pittsburgh SteelersGoogle images