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Anti-Discrimination Samuel Okafor named new Kick it Out chief executive

ANTI-DISCRIMINATION group Kick it Out has announced former NatWest executive director Samuel Okafor will take over as its chief executive next month.

The former footballer, who recently served as an executive director at Coutts, the private bank run by NatWest, had spells at a variety of non-league clubs including Dover Athletic, Enfield Town, Sittingbourne, Hampton and Richmond, and Bromley.

He was also a driving force in advancing the diversity, equity, and inclusion agenda at NatWest Group, where he worked for over two decades, notably co-leading the group’s Racial Equality Taskforce. 

Okafor said: “As a former footballer, Kick It Out’s commitment to eradicating discrimination and making football a sport where everyone feels they belong connects deeply with my passion for diversity, equity and inclusion.

“The opportunity to contribute to creating a more equitable and welcoming environment across football is incredibly motivating. I look forward to starting the role and working with the team to drive the organisation forward.”

Okafor succeeds Tony Burnett, who in January announced he was retiring at the end of the 2023-24 season to spend time with his family and pursue other projects.

Kick it Out chair Sanjay Bhandari said: “We’re delighted to welcome Samuel as our new CEO. His background as a footballer and his subsequent business career in banking will bring a rich depth and breadth of leadership experience to Kick It Out.

“We are excited to have him lead the next stage of our journey.”


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