SARINA WIEGMAN wants to see greater diversity in England Women’s teams following concerns over a lack of non-white players.

The Lionesses' boss backed FA plans to improve pathways for black, Asian and minority ethnic talent.

The hosts’ Euro 2022 squad features three black players in Demi Stokes, Nikita Parris and Jess Carter.

But only Carter, 24, has been deployed off the bench in the tournament.

Ahead of tonight’s quarter-final clash against Spain, Wiegman, 52, said: "Everyone who wants to be involved in football in whatever position should be welcome.

"I know the FA have set strategies in place to get more diversity in the game, so that’s something for the long term.

"I hope we get more diversity in the national team. For now, I just pick the best players.”

When Hope Powell took England to the Euros final in 2009, their starting XI featured three black players — Anita Asante, Eniola Aluko and Alex Scott.

Lianne Sanderson and Jessica Clarke were also in the squad.

The drop in numbers of black players at senior international level has led to calls for more to be done to help promising talent from minority ethnic backgrounds reach the game’s elite stage.

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And the FA say they intend to develop a "high-performance, inclusive, player-centred pathway".

England captain Leah Williamson said: "A few of the girls feel very passionately about it. We all do.

"But I’ve heard a few speak really well to the FA and it was received as well as we had hoped.

"It’s definitely a priority for them — there are things in place now. We’re on the right path to make it ready for those young girls. 

"This tournament is going to do such a good job at inspiring so many and nobody should be denied to then be involved.

"We feel passionately about it — and, luckily, so do the FA."

Earlier this month, Powell, who now manages WSL side, Brighton, said: “It’s really important that pathways are right and attention to detail is paid to that.

"You need that kind of conveyor belt of talent for any of it to work.

“We have to make sure that the next crop, the next talent and generation of talents after that, are ready and have all the opportunities to play as young girls.”

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