Sunday 23 October 2016

Dyke: Sepp absence good for English bid

Sepp Blatter (Reuters)
Sepp Blatter (Reuters)

English Football Association chairman Greg Dyke has said Sepp Blatter's eight-year ban from FIFA has removed a significant barrier to England bidding for the World Cup again.

The FA had ruled out any bid while Blatter was in charge following their failed attempt for the 2018 World Cup, which Dyke claimed was decided "by a bunch of crooks", but his ban could open the way to consideration of another bid if the FIFA Congress in February brings in the right reforms.

Of the 24 FIFA executive members at the time of the vote in 2010, five have been indicted by the US justice department, at least two more have been referred to as co-conspirators by the FBI, and a total of seven others have been banned including Blatter and Michel Platini, while Franz Beckenbauer is under investigation over his role in Germany's 2006 bid.

The Government's new sports policy document published last week said it will develop "a UK-wide strategy for so-called 'mega-events'" including the World Cup by September 2016. A bid for the 2026 World Cup looks unlikely - the USA is the favourite for that - but one for 2030 could be possible.

Dyke said Blatter's departure was an important change, but that a "proper and effective" reform process was as crucial before another bid could be considered.

Dyke told Press Association Sport: "There is nobody who wouldn't love to have the World Cup in England but the process has to be done in a fair, honest and transparent way, not carved up by a bunch of crooks which is what happened last time.

"If you look at past World Cups, one after the other you have to ask if you could have won a World Cup bid without being suspect.

"I think it's the end for Blatter whatever happens in the appeals process. The important thing is that we never get anyone with the same sort of power that Blatter had again.

"It all depends on the reform process, and as long as the reform process is effective, there is proper split between the president and the administration with a proper chief executive."

Blatter himself admitted on Monday following his ban that "all World Cups can have a bad smell" - but he claimed that was mainly due to political intervention.

However, it was Blatter who claimed in October that an agreement had been made by senior figures in FIFA for the 2018 World Cup to go to Russia - in the vote, England secured only one vote apart from its own member and Russia won easily.

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