UK & World News

  • 22 July 2014, 17:51

England 'Won't Bid While Sepp Blatter At Fifa'

Football Association chairman Greg Dyke says England will not bid for any Fifa tournaments while Sepp Blatter is in charge of the organisation.

Giving evidence to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport Committee (DCMS), Mr Dyke said: "We have already made a decision that we will not bid for Fifa tournaments while Sepp Blatter is there because we won't win.

"Mr Blatter sees the allegations (about corruption in Qatar's bid) as an attack on Fifa by the British press. Our decision is to try and concentrate in the years ahead on hosting Uefa tournaments.

"I don't think we should walk out of Fifa because within a week everyone has forgotten you and 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."

The DCMS is investigating allegations of corruption and bribery against two former vice-presidents of Fifa, the governing body of world football.

The claims stem from reports in the Sunday Times that Jack Warner, a former influential figure at Fifa, allegedly received $1.6m (£950,000) from a company controlled by Mohamed bin Hammam, a senior figure in Qatar's bid.

The organisers of Qatar 2022 World Cup have refuted the allegations, insisting they are "baseless and riddled with innuendo".

The small Emirate won a secret ballot of Fifa's executive committee, defeating bids from the US, Australia, Japan and Korea in 2010.

Asked about the Qatar event, Mr Dyke said: "It is accepted by everyone now that the 2022 World Cup will not be held in Qatar in summer.

"That means it will either be played somewhere else, or in Qatar at a different time of year.

"The Premier League has also accepted the 2022 World Cup will not be held in summer. Its preference would be November, December time but European football associations each have their own preferences. Discussions are ongoing."

Mr Dyke also told the panel of MPs that England manager Roy Hodgson did "quite a good job" at the World Cup, adding: "We are looking at what needs to change and that discussion will happen in September."

And the FA chairman also said he was undecided over whether Russia should be stripped of the 2018 World Cup following recent political events in Ukraine and Crimea.

"I think it has to be looked at in longer terms than a week or two. We wouldn't have a view yet," Mr Dyke said.

"I think we have to wait and see how things play out."

Labour's shadow health minister Andy Burnham is among those who have called on Fifa to "revisit" its decision to let Russia host the World Cup.

Fifa declined to comment when asked by Sky News if it believed Russia remains an appropriate choice for the 2018 World Cup following the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

A spokesman said: "We are in contact with both federations (Russia & Ukraine) and Uefa. We are not in a position to comment further at this stage."

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