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Third time unlucky for England

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David Bond | 11:35 UK time, Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Bloemfontein, Zurich mark one and now Zurich mark two. After last year's World Cup and World Cup 2018 vote English football has been given a harsh lesson on Fifa's world stage.

As he made the agonisingly long walk to the congress lectern this morning FA chairman David Bernstein might not have expected the angry backlash he would face.

After making his lone appeal to postpone the re-election of Sepp Blatter, he could only watch as, one by one, delegates from the rest of the world took it in turn to attack the FA's last minute move.

Haiti, Benin, Congo and Cyprus all publicly criticised the FA for making what they - bizarrely - viewed as an undemocratic request. It was against the agenda, they said, and England weren't playing by the rules. They rounded on the British media for creating a crisis without any real evidence.

The most brutal attack came from the long standing Fifa vice president for Argentina, Julio Grondona. He used his address as head of Fifa's finance committee to plead with the English to leave the Fifa family alone and criticised Bernstein for his intervention.

He added: "We always have attacks - mostly with lies and with the support of journalism which is more busy lying than telling the truth."

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Fifa has no will for change says ex-FA chief Mark Palios

Not one mentioned the fact that two executive committee members - including one who was supposed to be running for president - had been suspended just three days ago pending a bribery investigation set up by a third member of its executive.

But the vote told a slightly different story. 17 countries backed England's call and another 17 abstained meaning 34 countries - or around 16 per cent of the eligible nations (206) - were expressing some doubts about this election.

Whether they were supporting the FA or acting in their own interests is difficult to tell. Many of those 34 votes may have come from delegates angry at the treatment of former presidential candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam, suspended last Sunday and ruled out of the election.

The 172 votes against the postponement revealed, again, Blatter's strong power base and the FA was never likely to win the argument today. But Bernstein will be pleased he wasn't completely humiliated in the vote.

Having said all this, if anyone at the FA wondered if English football was isolated inside Fifa, then there can be absolutely no doubts after today's backlash.

Much of this is historic. There is deep resentment at the way Britain gets an automatic vice presidency on the Fifa executive committee. With England's Geoff Thompson standing down after four years, this is due to be taken up by Northern Ireland's Jim Boyce later today. Some hospital pass that.

In his attack on England, Grondona raised the issue of the vice presidency and one outcome from all this might be a move to finally end this anachronistic privilege which has been woefully utilised by Thompson and the British FAs over the last few years.

There is also resentment at what many of the smaller countries - particularly in Africa and the Caribbean - see as English arrogance. This is reinforced by the financial might of the Premier League.

On top of that, the fall out from the England World Cup bid has left many asking whether all of the attacks on Fifa are being motivated by revenge. It is certainly true that while the Fifa story has been dominating the news bulletins and front pages in Britain, it is not making the same kind of headlines elsewhere - even in Europe.

So what now for England? With Blatter likely to be re-elected later (don't be surprised to see hundreds of delegates rise to applaud the president afterwards) any hopes of rebuilding bridges will have to be put off for the next four years.

The Bin Hammam and Jack Warner bribery inquiry could prove them right if there is another round of bloodletting causing the Fifa crisis to widen.

Their best hope might be to align themselves with Michel Platini, the favourite to succeed Blatter in 2015, although Brazil's Ricardo Teixeira is also likely to stand and he is unlikely to look favourably on England.

David Bernstein said that by making his stand today he was standing up for principles. Most people back home will applaud this and will be extremely angry at the way Fifa has circled the wagons today.

But the FA can only hope that Sepp Blatter means it when he says he will now make real reforms. They will be watching from the sidelines.

Comments

Page 1 of 11

  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    England should pull out of the WC. It's a total farce anyway.

  • Comment number 3.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 4.

    FIFA is an embarrasment of an organisation - but unfortunately so is the FA.
    The FA should look to get its own house in order then maybe it may be taken more seriously on a world stage.

  • Comment number 5.

    This is all very ironic considering we have the best, the most watched, the richest domestic league competition in the world. Maybe we have more clout than we realise. However, that would mean the FA and Premier League working together to facilitate change at FIFA and unfortunately I feel that Sepp Blatter would probably win another term before that were to happen.

  • Comment number 6.

    Do we know which countries supported the FA? It seems, that the smaller nations are running scared of Blatter and wont stand up to him. Agree the FA left it late, but Blatter and his pals have caused more damamge to the game of football than the FA late attempt to get the ballot postponed

  • Comment number 7.

    The "Home Nations" control 50% of the votes on changing the laws of the game; the rest of the world wonders who exactly are the "Home Nations"? Cue demands for a British national team or withdrawal/banning from UEFA/FIFA tournaments for all British club and national sides.

  • Comment number 8.

    Well done David Bernstein, better late than never. Without another World Cup bid to push for the forseeable future we do not need FIFA, but the Zurich plutocrats will come crawling when ticket sales/TV rights/corporate sponsorship are needed in 2018.

  • Comment number 9.

    Unhappy as I am with FIFA, this is the usual FA mishandling I think. There was a proper time to put forward candidates and they didn't. Now they put noses further out of joint with this.
    I can't help wondering if the FA find it convenient to avoid criticism over the abject failure of the 2018 bid by raking all this up. It makes them look like the good guys when they bungled it. They must (or should) have known the funny games that had to be played if the bid was to have a chance. If we are not prepared to play those games then why waste so much money bidding?

  • Comment number 10.

    Ultimately this could well be the catalyst that undermines FIFA permanently.

    Blatter has pulled in favours to win this battle but the war is well under way now.

    The ultimate solution is an alternative organisation.

    If there is the support for such a move, then it will happen, and FIFA will be marginalised.

    If not, then we can look forward to another generation of the same old FIFA under Platini.

  • Comment number 11.

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  • Comment number 12.

    I think England should follow Scotland's lead and never play in the World Cup again.

  • Comment number 13.

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  • Comment number 14.

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  • Comment number 15.

    It's no surprise that Grondona is putting the boot in. When asked whether he would be voting for England he said, "If they give back the Falkland Islands". His controversial comments on Jews in 2003 are also on record.

    Savoury bunch, that FIFA.

  • Comment number 16.

    seems to me more like evidence of how out of touch and sync english football is with the rest of the world. embarassing

  • Comment number 17.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 18.

    What a farce, given the current cloud hanging over FIFA this was a chance for Blatter to restore some confidence in the organisation by postponing the election until enquiries had been carried out and new candidates had emerged, instead he proceeds with a comical one-horse election that would make Robert Mugabe blush! FIFA completely and utterly in the gutter now.

  • Comment number 19.

    I think that if the FA had come out with this 6 months ago they would have received a much better response. This is laughably inept piece of politics. This is where the UK nations need to improve; I am sure there are many countries within FIFA that want reform but you have get out there and talk to the associations.

  • Comment number 20.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 21.

    Can someone please explain to me how tiny countries that contribute very little to Fifa/Football having the same voting power as countries that have huge fanbases is democratic.

    Surely there should be some kind proportional representation.

  • Comment number 22.

    @jaga jaga

    An anti-English football post? From you? Never!

    Gaddaffi-esque rants from Blatter and Grondona aside, how is it the FA's fault that two of the Executive Commitee have been suspended?

  • Comment number 23.

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  • Comment number 24.

    Received angrily by the footballing powerhouses that are Benin, Congo and Haiti. Can someone explain though why we dont just run a candiate against blatter?

  • Comment number 25.

    Julio Grondona is the chairman of FIFA's Finance Committee. Jack Warner and Mohammed Bin Hammam sit on the committee he chairs...both currently suspended. Unsurprising that Grondona should be uncomfortable with the light being shone on some of the financial transactions of his committee members in the name of FIFA.

    The FA and SFA are brave to speak in public, being correct doesn't always make you the most popular. The head of the German Football Association has now called for a reassessment of the Qatar WM decision. FIFA's critics are going to get more numerous and louder. It is a matter of time....

  • Comment number 26.

    I dont think the FA have been humiliated at all. They stand to be accused of sour grapes no doubt regarding the failed bid, but why hammer them for standing alone on the point of principle? They knew Europe would close ranks when they requested a delayed ballot. There is too a lack of any 'real' evidence yet of corruption so for the FA to do much at all is open to question.

    The Sponsors hold the aces. If they choose to pick up on the media frenzy they might withdraw funds if FIFA becomes much more discredited maybe though its no good having real hope that will occur.

    Your blog seems just like creating another stick to whip the FA with for no truly persuasive reason.

  • Comment number 27.

    As an aside, fans are hugely marginalised in this affair, however the fans do have power. If the likes of Addias and Emirates are associated with the current regime in the mind of the fans then hopefully they can put pressure on the corporates to pull out of backing FIFA.

    Arsenal fans in particular have a lot of power in this realm and protests at the Emirates Stadium about their main sponsor also backing FIFA could actually make a big difference.

  • Comment number 28.

    seems to me more like evidence of how out of touch and sync english football is with the rest of the world. embarassing.
    it is hypocrisy to pretend england hate corruption more than anyone else. this is about a selfish grievance and the level of denial expressed in this wounded self righteousness is truly shocking.many people seem to have convinced themselves of their shrill rhetoric.no one is listening

  • Comment number 29.

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  • Comment number 30.

    Criticised by the football powerhouses of Haiti, Benin, Congo and Cyprus?
    Argentina takes opportunity to criticise England shocker?
    Add in the fact that, rightly or wrongly, "greasing the wheels" is an accepted cultural norm in many parts of the world and off course the vote was going down. But well done the FA for putting it up there in the first place.

    And a little less of the reactive, FA-can't win journalism please. We all know they're a long way from perfect but first criticising the inactivity, then writing off the activity as a "humiliation"? Come on...

  • Comment number 31.

    Sepp Blatter may be the captain of the ship, but unfortunately for him it seems to be the titanic

  • Comment number 32.

    Hilarious! David Bernstein and the FA standing up for principles. The same bunch that decried Panorama's investigation and the subsequent hoo-haa as unpatriotic because it would damage our World Cup bid. Priceless. Absolutely priceless.
    At least Blatter is open with his 'generosity'. The FA are hypocrites, and shameless with it. They should all go - we need new brooms to clean up the stench of too much money and too little oversight.

  • Comment number 33.

    They pay themselves, they investigate themselves, they exonerate themselves.
    Nobody in their right mind would want to jump off such a high yielding gravy train.

    Now is the time to walk away. If not completely then resign the vice presidency with immediate effect to save us from the further ignominy of being forcefully ejected.

  • Comment number 34.

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  • Comment number 35.

    FA Undemocratic? Haiti Congo look in your own back yard

  • Comment number 36.

    Adidas, Emirates and Coca Cola appear to be listening to the "rhetoric".

  • Comment number 37.

    It is the English fans who are continually humiliated - most of all, by the English FA!

  • Comment number 38.

    Since when has it ever been humiliating to stand alone and argue for fair play? This is what we've always done in this country and we will win in the end, it's just a matter of time. I'm so proud of you Mr Bernstein.

  • Comment number 39.

    LMAO @12


    Anyway, I believe that FIFA are somewhat dodgy, but what they say about our press (BBC included) is true.

    The press have a throw enough $%£^ and some of it will stick attitude.

    Besides, I thought we believed in "innocent until prooven guilty"

  • Comment number 40.

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  • Comment number 41.

    My first comment was removed, here is the re-typed version. English FA isolated in FIFA? So what? Well done Mr Bernstein who stood up and showed a mirror to the delegates, and they didn't like their reflections. Haiti, Benin, Congo and Cyprus - all massive hotbeds of world football I notice! Chuck Blazer 'sacked' then 'not sacked'. A complete farce. If only the major sponsors would tell Blatter 'enough is enough' - he would listen then as money talks, FIFA need their money.

  • Comment number 42.

    Let me get this straight, the FA are standing up for strong governance, leadership and transparency to be introduced via a panel of neutrals having rejected nearly all of the same themselves. That is rank hypocrisy. If we're serious we should withdraw from FIFA, sort our FA out, sort our youth system out and make it clear we will only bring the commercial advantages having England in the World Cup as when FIFA has it's own house in order.

  • Comment number 43.

    I don't see how FIFA can call themselves democratic when none of the population gets to vote who is in charge of their FAs let alone FIFA itself. In fact FIFA bears a remarkable resemblance to the Chinese Communist government which is elected from within.

    It's also funny how the nations mentioned in the blog (Haiti, Benin, Congo and Cyprus) that spoke against the FA are all very limited in their football potential, power and the countries they represent (except Cyprus) are rated extremely low in the Human Development Index, in other words it's an awful place to live. What I'm trying to say is that as each country has one vote, the smaller FAs who are unable to fund development on the same scale as the English, French, Spanish, German, Italian FAs are more likely to accept bribes as they would be more useful to them.

    Unless the other major European FAs speak out against the English FA it's not worth listening to and infact perhaps the smaller FAs should be investigated for receiving bribes too.

  • Comment number 44.

    OnlyGreyInTheVillage...that was almost funny

  • Comment number 45.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 46.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 47.

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  • Comment number 48.

    It's only a game. It is possible to pull out and just forget about the entire thing you know.

  • Comment number 49.

    England should take having enemies such as these as a massive compliment!

    Bernstein must be doing something right. Doing what is correct is by no means always popular, evidently.

  • Comment number 50.

    Love that those denizens of democracy are the ones who attacked the FA the most! Who is taking Haiti, Congo, Benin & Cyprus seriously anyway....

  • Comment number 51.

    Nothing surprising today . Our FA needs changing we know that but at least they made some kind of stand even if weak and late . I think the British press and journalists need to earn their corn now , Blatter raised them today and before the world cup vote so you guys get out and investigate . He has criticised you in front of the world and he tries to take the moral ground ( i know shocking ) by referring to respect et al . The small countries all rely on FIFA so they are ' in their pocket ' so to speak and they represent the vast majority of delegates . Swiss government needs to act within its sphere of control and we need to build alliances . I would be happy if we made Sepp Blatter persona non grata in UK . Platini , always seems to have criticism of UK so I dont think there is an ally there , I think since Heysel he has always taken a dark view of the english football . Certainly I dont think we should now just accept things as they are .... if I was a journalist I would be really looking closely at Russia and Qatar and also how FIFA spends its money to keep its control of the majority of FIFA delegates .

  • Comment number 52.

    FIFA's imminent "election" of Blatter reminds me of a "joke" about Hafez al-Assad father of Syria's current President Baschar Hafiz al-Assad. Told by his minions that he had won the election with 99,6% of the vote, he demended to know the names and addresses of the 0,4%.

  • Comment number 53.

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  • Comment number 54.

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  • Comment number 55.

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  • Comment number 56.

    Maybe it is too late but the actions of the FA are a bit like when Sir Geoffrey Howe all those years ago stood up in parliament and gave a withering statement against the then indestructible Margaret Thatcher. At the time, it was written off but the first chinks were indented into the iron lady's armour.

    The same will now occur with FIFA, Blatter is a "Dead man walking" but in some respects there may be a positive spin off in this country. Could it also be the first chinks in the FA. Maybe. It will take time but maybe today we saw the first signs that both organisations are dinosaurs whose days in their present state are numbered.

    Oh, just one other thing, the German FA are certainly not held in as low esteem, so their request for Qatar 2022 to be reexamined could in parliamentary terms be the "stalking horse" which will bring down Blatter and FIFA.

  • Comment number 57.

    #12 OnlyGrey, given England performances in previous World Cup's and the lack of talented players in the Premiership who qualify to play for England then you are right on course to achieve this........

    FIFA's problem is that it suffers from an embarrassing illness which it refuses to seek treatment for...a Septic Bladder.

  • Comment number 58.

    Sorry am I missing something here? How can anything that FIFA say or decide be taken as the truth FIFA could not lie straight in bed.

  • Comment number 59.

    I'm glad the English FA have been shown up by FIFA (again) as they went crying to the media over the failed World Cup bid. It is very clear that England has no influence in World Football despite the high and mighty money machine that is the EPL. The English FA talk about "We want reforms" yet when UEFA want to implement reforms to reduce the expenditure of multi millionnaire owners to create level playing fields they then say "We'll do what we want". Despite the fact that reducing expenditure and developing younger players may be good for the national team. They are a joke of the highest order and only interested in the spondoolics.

  • Comment number 60.

    FIFA aren't much cop, but then neither are the FA.

    It's very much 'jobs for the boys' all round.

    The FA should have dumped on FIFA and left. They would have had the supports of several countries that felt let down by the world cup bidding process/results such as Australia and the USA.

    Now they are no football giants of this world, but with a few more countries supporting England's position especially from Europe and South America, we could have had the makings of a breakaway.

    I am all for democracy, but for the 'smaller' countries to allow this stat of affairs to continue within FIFA is just plain wrong.

    The FA itself needs to get it's own house in order, starting with allocating more tickets to the FA cup final to the finalists.

    If the FA want to rewards it's 'football family' give them tickets for the community shield instead.

  • Comment number 61.

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  • Comment number 62.

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  • Comment number 63.

    Shall we just wait for the Zug Court settlement to finally come out, then? Fifa were quick to settle that out of court, and block the publication of the settlement.

    I'm not surprised at the criticism of those footballing powerhouses of Haiti, Benin, et al -the smaller FAs are massively beholden to Blatter and his apparatus, for getting support and development into their games. This will continue to be the case, and it gives Blatter immense power away from the bigger FAs who would oppose his agenda, to some degree.

    We would have had more of a shot if we'd been more organised, mind. But the FA continue to be shambolic, which makes it all the harder to resist this.

    Still, given Blatter's age, we won't have long to wait him out - the real challenge will come in reforming the organisation he has built around himself.

  • Comment number 64.

    Anyone else thinking that this afternoons impending coronation mimics that of the the rise of the Empire and the Emperor in Star Wars?

  • Comment number 65.

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  • Comment number 66.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 67.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 68.

    As money is the underlying theme of the current issues with FIFA, targetting the corporate sponsors with letters of complaint may provide leverage for change.

  • Comment number 69.

    You say we were humliated, I would say that unlike the spineless lickspittles at that congress we scotland and the 20 others who voted against, showed the spine and moral courage not to vote for a moralllay bankrupt organisation.

    Yes 172 delegates voted, and one wonders how many of them were counting who much of that fat cash they would miss out on if they voted against.

    We have a habit of standing up against nasty currupt dictators, and its nice to see we are keeping up the tradition!

  • Comment number 70.

    17 countries voted in favour of suspending. 17 abstained from voting. Altogether, that's 34 countries who are obviously not happy with the current situation, and therefore, if things continue to get worse in Blatter's next 4 years, there is enough countries that could be persuaded to break away from FIFA and form a new International Football Association. I am fed up with Blatter and I am fed up with FIFA. Something needs to change. The current situation is a disgrace and an insult to an organisation that was originally formed in our country.

  • Comment number 71.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 72.

    I wonder what the reaction of the FA pulling out of FIFA and UEFA would do?

    Most people would say nothing but there a major factor not considered and that's the Premier League. How do foreign players react do they stay with their teams or their countires considering the amount of money they make off the clubs? What about the club owners? An international bunch that lot with lots of money. Not to mention the sheer size of it there is reason why Manchester United is top supported club in the world that won't change. Neither will the FA Cup being one one of biggest events on the Football calendar behind the UEFA Cup and a European or World Cup if it's being played that year.

    I honestly believe is we were to pull out people would have to follow us because as with the corruption showing us money talks. With the sponsors and support we generate, we have the money lets do some talking with it.

  • Comment number 73.

    Surely now the idea that FIFA can possibly represent 'respect, discipline and fair play' is oxymoronic. It would be like making Tony Blair an envoy for peace in the Middle East, oh, wait.....

  • Comment number 74.

    I have no idea why my comment was moderated so here it is again.

    I'm glad the English FA have been shown up by FIFA (again) as they went crying to the media over the failed World Cup bid. It is very clear that England has no influence in World Football despite the high and mighty money machine that is the EPL. The English FA talk about "We want reforms" yet when UEFA want to implement reforms to reduce the expenditure of multi millionnaire owners to create level playing fields they then say "We'll do what we want". Despite the fact that reducing expenditure and developing younger players may be good for the national team.

  • Comment number 75.

    Does anyone know how FIFA gets its money and how much of it comes from England and other EU countries ?

  • Comment number 76.

    People in glass houses ........Pick the Rafter from your own eye....You reap what you sow.....England FA has become less influential as Premier League becomes more influential. The issues are many deep and painful.
    If there is one thing that is certain is that as Clubs become more powerful the less relevant the FA, UEFA & FIFA will become...Witness this years Champions League Final...better players in that tournament than will be at Euro2012.
    The businesses men run the clubs the bureaucrats.
    We are watching a silent coup d' tat of the peoples game destroyed by the very people entrusted to protect it.
    This is now going to be the slow decline of the 'authorities' the open defiance and contempt of them, rightly so.
    However the fans will suffer as the game no longer belongs to the people.

  • Comment number 77.

    I my eyes FIFA does not own football. Football owns FIFA, FIFA is set up to govern/organise the way football is run, though FIFA can't even run itself! FIFA can damage football, but football can only promote FIFA.
    The FA was too late in their bid, but FIFA need to realise what they represent to the fans and future fans of football. I can't see anything changing anytime soon. Especially with Sepp Blatter as head of FIFA. The system needs a whole review from the outside.

  • Comment number 78.

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  • Comment number 79.

    The FA should not have attempted this as it only looks like sour grapes on our behalf. There are too many faces in the trough at FIFA, growing fat leeching on the revenues generated by the world cup and other revenue streams. The FIFA congress voting for change is like turkey's voting for Christmas.

    We have to accept that we are not going to get the world cup, as too many other countries dislike us. So we should not waste another £30m on campaigns that we will never win. That money can be invested in changing the game at youth level(not that that is ever going to happen, but that is another debate)

    FIFA have to be hurt in their bank balance

    We cannot leave FIFA, but we can become passive, pay our membership and that's it:

    No more paying for FIFA grandees to come and visit us.
    No more friendlies to try and garner votes that are no forthcoming.
    No more training missions to under developed countries for votes that are not forthcoming.

    For us as the population we can:

    Stop buying FIFA branded football games
    Stop buying FIFA merchandise - balls, pint glasses, t-shirts etc...
    Look at the list of sponsors and were possible avoid using their products or services.

    All of the above feed into the gravy train. We are only one country, but our consciences will be clear.

  • Comment number 80.

    FIFA must be laughing their heads off behind our backs. They know we can't take any action like withdrawing from the World Cup, because everyone in England wants us to play in it.

    We can't secede from FIFA because that would almost certainly mean the end of our participation in the Champions League and Europa League. Our teams could possibly hold on to their foreign players for a season or two, but eventually the big names would neither want to come or want to stay without the promise of top level football.

    So we have to button-it, and put up with everyong kowtowing to Sepp Blatter, while the real issues of the game go ignored for fear of upsetting one of the "big" countries (e.g. Video technology - the same improvement that would have seen France miss out on a World Cup place. I wonder how quick the changes would have been made if that incident had been reversed.)

    It just goes to show the hypocrisy of the other members of FIFA, that the great footballing nations of Haiti, Benin, Congo and Cyprus were the ones to take a swipe at the English FA. If these countries stood up for decent principles, rather than siding with the person who holds the most power, then maybe FIFA would actually get something done for a change.

  • Comment number 81.

    To put an unemotional slant on jagajaga's rantings:

    There is no crisis in FIFA. It is the WORLD football body. It has 208 members, and just one of them (the FA, prompted by the UK media) are being 'noisy'. Under their 'one country one vote' system, the FA have less than a 0.5% say.

    Could/should FIFA expel or suspend the FA?

    A number of smaller associations rely on handouts from FIFA to keep them going and supposedly develop the game in their country. If the likes of Adidas and Coca Cola were to walk away, this could constitute a crisis.

    Anyone who thinks the world of big business (of which football is part, like it or not) does not work through 'inducements' is living on another planet...take the defence industry and its trading with some Middle East countries as a well documented and proven example!!

  • Comment number 82.

    Here's an idea. Combine the voting for the FIFA president and World Cup Hosts with the Eurovision Song Contest.

    Then we can get over all the complaints about England never winning because of politically biased, block voting in one go! :-)

  • Comment number 83.

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  • Comment number 84.

    From what has transpired at the FIFA one would wonder if a breakaway association can materialise if England wish to form such. Assuming you get all the 17 associations to breakaway, it doesnt seem to me like the sort of association that would marginalise the rest. As for Britain and the FA, be careful what you wish for. More democracy for FIFA could also mean "one country one FIFA membership" and the stripping away of any sort of traditional previledges that you are clearly not ashamed to be enjoying.

  • Comment number 85.

    The FA were not humiliated. Do you really believe that they had a chance of winning ? Weeks ago the only dissenting voice was that of Triesman but that has started to open up FIFA, albeit slowly. Exaggerating the perceived failure of the FA will not help. These FIFA guys will have to be picked off 1 by 1 over a period of time and if it is just the FA and UK press then so be it. Blatter has built his FIFA over the last 13 years and Havelange before him so it is going to take more than a few days to clean this particular house. As an influencial sportswriter you should be congratulating them and giving them support rather than heckling from the sidelines

  • Comment number 86.

    I mean to say The businesses men run the clubs the bureaucrats run the FA, UEFA & FIFA

  • Comment number 87.

    #16 -- I'd rather be out of step with rest of (football) world. They think having 6 refs at a game is more viable at all levels than using technology in top tiers of game. Bonkers bunch of crooked men.

  • Comment number 88.

    @OnlyGreyInTheVillage....That was almost amusing

  • Comment number 89.

    The only way anyone in the real world can get through to FIFA is to approach them through their feeding lines!
    Someone out there, with more technical skills, more social network capability... set up a global, or at least European/North American boycott of FIFA partner and FIFA sponsor companies. get that going, and Sepp is gone in a month!

  • Comment number 90.

    It will take organisation courage and vision to do the right thing and withdraw from FIFA and the World Cup (which if we face it, we haven't a chance of winning anyway) - just three things that the FA lacks by the lorry load. Time to make a stand and end the bully's reign of terror, especially when the English game is so dominate around the world in television revenue and coverage. Time for the FA to get its own house in order and stand up to be counted.

    A pity it won't happen and the FA will do exactly what they do best - miss a golden opportunity.

  • Comment number 91.

    Once again I see people on here attacking the FA for speaking out what many or the majority of fans feel, that it is in appropriate for Blatter to accept another 4 years in charge. Maybe what they should have done is said, we feel this is wring, but allow him to remain in office until another suitable candidate was found to stand against him. Put is in such a way that it would appear that he is looking to clean up FIFA in a genuine way.
    But we will always get attacked as people still remember the "Great Britain" tag and commonwealth and resent us as a nation, thats partly why we lost the world cup bid, not bad management by the FA. Lets face as some one else said bribery is common place in most countries if you want to get anyway, and unless we are prepared to sink to the same level, we are never going to win.
    Lets stop helping lesser nations financially, coaching, tv right etc for the beautiful game, and see how long before they start to realise just how much our country helps the game overall.

  • Comment number 92.

    "12.At 12:51 1st Jun 2011, OnlyGreyInTheVillage wrote:
    I think England should follow Scotland's lead and never play in the World Cup again."

    .....Yes, agreed, Scotland are the shining light in this matter.

  • Comment number 93.

    if there is a crisis at FIFA then england are a major cause it is hard to see how england can hope to sell this role as a crusader. the moral capital is non-existent

  • Comment number 94.

    The only conclusion is they are all in up to their necks and if Blatter went , they would all go .

    Despite the lack of support from other countries I can still see a "Premiership" type breakaway from FIFA , but to be fair to the UK they can't go it alone .

    Its interesting that Adidas and Coca Cola, only made mild representation against the fraud , I certainly will be revising my view of these companies and what I buy.

  • Comment number 95.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 96.

    Perhaps you should have mentioned, with reference to Julio Grondona, his quote from 2003: 'I do not believe a Jew can ever be a referee at this level. It's hard work and, you know, Jews don't like hard work.' The question this begs is whether the FA should want to be a member of a club which allows such people to have prominent positions.

  • Comment number 97.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 98.

    And if FIFA are all clean why cant we comment on the FIFA website?

  • Comment number 99.

    International football is and has been rubbish for ages. There is absolutely no loss if England pulled out of FIFA.

    They need us a hell of a lot more than we need them. This is the powerhouse of the world football economy. If we managed to persuade the Germans, Spanish & Italians to start a new organisation, all other countries would fall in line.

  • Comment number 100.

    The FA grovelling has already started after Blatter's standing ovation and that was before he was even 're-elected'. It won't do any good, revenge is in the air and as much damage as can be done to us will be done. Not straight away but soon. We will know it when we see it.

 

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