LONDON -- Former Chelsea defender Paul Elliott resigned Saturday from leading roles with UEFA and the English Football Association after being accused of making offensive comments toward another former player.

Elliott, a high-profile anti-racism campaigner, made "discriminatory abusive comments" to former Charlton defender Richard Rufus, the FA said in a statement. Both men are black.

Elliot is leaving his roles as a member of UEFA's football committee, the FA's judicial panel and English football's anti-racism body, Kick It Out.

"I am saddened by this turn of events and it is with regret that we accept Paul's resignation," FA chairman David Bernstein said. "However, the use of discriminatory language is unacceptable regardless of its context and in effect has made Paul's position untenable."

Earlier this month, Elliott became the first black footballer to receive the Commander of the Order of the British Empire award at Buckingham Palace for services to equality and diversity in football.

The FA statement did not include any comments from Elliott.