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Dyke rules out England bid for a future World Cup

Dyke believes that Blatter has too much support to be voted out. Picture: PA

Dyke believes that Blatter has too much support to be voted out. Picture: PA

  • by DAVID MADDOX
 

FA chairman Greg Dyke has ruled out England bidding for a future World Cup while Sepp Blatter remains president of Fifa.

He said English football’s governing body will instead focus on hosting Uefa tournaments, with Wembley bidding to host the Euro 2020 semi-finals and final.

Giving evidence to the culture media and sport select committee yesterday regarding the bidding process for the Qatar 2022 World Cup, which has been plagued by allegations of corruption and bribery, he said the reforms needed at Fifa will not happen while Sepp Blatter remains its president.

Mr Dyke, the former director general of the BBC, also told how he believes Mr Blatter will be re-elected – and as a result England would only bid for competitions run by the European body Uefa such as the Champions League.

Amid widespread claims of corruption over the selection of Qatar to host the 2022, Mr Dyke told MPs that Fifa needed to publish the details of an investigation carried out by the former US attorney general Michael Garcia into the bidding process when it was completed.

However, he warned against suggestions Russia should lose the 2018 World Cup as a result of the shooting down of flight MH17 and Vladimir Putin’s support for rebels in Ukraine.

Mr Dyke said: “I don’t think you can make a decision based on one week’s events without looking at the longer term.”

In June, Uefa president Michel Platini withdrew his support for Mr Blatter’s re-election, insisting Fifa needed a “breath of fresh air”. But Mr Dyke said he could not see the 78-year-old Swiss failing to secure another presidency. He added: “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 (Mr Blatter) runs again he will win, but I think it’s unlikely we at the FA would vote for him.”

Mr Dyke said that although the FA would focus on bidding for Uefa rather than Fifa tournaments in the future, it would not be productive to withdraw England’s membership of the football organisation.

“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,” he said.

Mr Dyke added: “I don’t think we should walk out of Fifa because within a week everyone has forgotten 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.”

Mr Dyke said that Fifa had shown “a defensive response” to the allegations over the Qatar bid and demanded that the Garcia report is made public.

“If Mr Garcia shows that there have been corrupt activities, the whole thing should be reconsidered,” he said.

Mr Garcia, who has been leading a Fifa ethics committee investigation into allegations of corruption surrounding the award of the 2022 World Cup to the Gulf state, will submit his report in September.

 

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