FA won’t be supporting Blatter in FIFA elections

TIME TO TALK: Greg Dyke

TIME TO TALK: Greg Dyke

First published in Sport

GREG DYKE admits the FA is unlikely to back Sepp Blatter if he stands for re-election as FIFA president, but says England will not walk out of the governing body to bring about change.

The FA chairman gave evidence to the Culture Media and Sport (CMS) select committee regarding the bidding process for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, which has been plagued by allegations of corruption.

Dyke, who was appointed FA chairman in March 2013, called for thorough reform of FIFA but admits it is unlikely to occur while Blatter remains in post.

“We think there’s a limited amount of time someone should sit on the FIFA executive,”

Dyke said.

“We voted in favour of that but most voted against it. It’s that sort of reform that is needed to make sure we get proper turnover.

“Hopefully a new president coming in would take a look at the whole structure.

“A lot of the European FAs made it clear they didn’t support Blatter but I’m afraid from the rest of the world he has overwhelming support.

“If he runs again he will win, but I think it’s unlikely we at the FA would vote for him.”

Dyke described the FIFA congress in Sao Paolo last month as like “something out of North Korea” while UEFA president Michel Platini has also withdrawn his support for Blatter’s re-election.

Dyke revealed the FA would not be bidding for FIFA tournaments while Blatter remains in charge.

“We’ve already taken the decision that we will not bid for FIFA tournaments – our decision is we will concentrate in the years ahead on bidding for UEFA tournaments,”

Dyke said.

“Would we leave FIFA? Not on our own, no. I don’t think we should walk out of FIFA because within a week everyone has forgotten about you.

“I don’t think that sort of gesture-politics would help.

I think trying to reform through UEFA and from the inside is the better way forward.”

Qatar won the bid to host the 2022 World Cup in December 2010 but the decision has been marred by controversy and allegations of bribery.

FIFA ethics investigator Michael Garcia is finalising a report into the bidding processes for the World Cup in 2018, won by Russia, and 2022.

Garcia is expected to submit his findings at the end of July and Dyke has called for the whole report to be published, rather than just the recommendations of the judicial chamber.

“If Mr Garcia’s report shows there’s been corrupt activity then the whole process should be reconsidered,”

Dyke said.

“The question you have to ask is why would you put the World Cup in Qatar in the summer? It just doesn’t meet the criteria.

“My understanding is the results will be published in October but not necessarily the whole report.

“Our view is we would like to see the whole report published, not just the recommendations of the judicial chamber.”

There are also concerns about Qatar’s lack of suitable infrastructure and the summer climate, which can see temperatures exceed 50 degrees Celsius.

“I am certain it won’t happen in the summer,” Dyke said. “If you’ve been to Qatar in the summer you can hardly walk in the streets.

“The health and safety people said it wasn’t safe and it certainly wouldn’t be safe.

“Air-conditioned stadiums are one thing but fans moving around on the streets, in and out of stadiums – it will be too dangerous to have it there in the summer.”

Dyke added: “FIFA certainly took the wrong decision to give the World Cup to Qatar and it is widely accepted now that it was a flawed decision.”

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