Vieira, the only black manager in the Premier League, says more needs to be done to encourage black players into management.

A new report shows that 43% of Premier League and 34% of EFL players are black, but only 4.4% of managers.

“We have to give opportunities to people of colour,” Vieira told Alex Howell on the BBC’s Football News Show.

“We are as good as anybody else. And we need to have no more or less opportunity than anybody else.

“When you are looking at the top five leagues in the world and you’re looking at the number of black coaches you have in the first or second division, it is not enough.

“There is a lack of opportunity there. There is a lack of connection from black players to connect ourselves a little bit more with people who are making the decisions.

“But overall I believe that the doors are not open for us to do what we can do and to go into management. When I talk about management I’m talking about the team, but I’m also talking about the higher level as well.

“We need to be given more opportunities to show that we are as good as anybody else.”

Vieira, a Premier League legend, led France to the World Cup in 1998 and the European Championship two years later.

During his illustrious Arsenal career, the midfielder won the Premier League three times, including the Double twice, and was a member of the ‘Invincibles’ club that went unbeaten in 2003-04. He also won Serie A four times and the Champions League with Inter Milan.

After his playing career ended, he managed New York City and Nice before taking over at Palace in June 2021.

Vieira stated that it was encouragement from Manchester City managing director Brian Marwood as he neared the end of his playing career that brought him into management.

“I spoke a lot with Brian Marwood and he made me understand that having the career I had as a player wasn’t enough,” he said.

“I decided to go through my [coaching] badges and to start with Manchester City Under-21s and to go to New York. I needed to build that credibility as well as the experience to really believe in myself that this is what I wanted to do.

“I had good people around me who gave me the platform to learn and to make mistakes and today to be at Palace with belief and confidence in my ability to be a good manager.”

According to a research released this week by The Black Footballers Partnership, an organisation founded earlier this year, 14% of individuals with top coaching qualifications – a Uefa pro licence – are black, while black people hold only 1.6% of executive, leadership, and ownership positions in football.

The Football Association’s diversity code was introduced in 2020 with the goal of addressing racial disparity in the English game.

The Premier League and 30 other clubs have all signed up to the voluntary code, with each required to publish annual worker data.