Football: Cooper throws doubt on United's decision

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The Independent Online
THERE WAS some confusion yesterday in the wake of Manchester United's decision to skip next season's FA Cup in favour of Fifa's World Club Championship. Though United took the decision to help England's 2006 World Cup bid, it now seems as if the gesture may have been unnecessary.

Fifa's director of communications, Keith Cooper, said yesterday: "I think the two things are completely separate and they are two completely separate competitions. The position on who will host the World Cup in 2006 will be taken by the 24 members of the executive committee in March next year and the criteria that they choose to apply is entirely their business."

However, Trinidad & Tobago's Jack Warner, a Fifa vice- president and president of Concacaf, has welcomed the move.

Warner, one of 24 Fifa officials who will vote on who hosts the 2006 World Cup, said: "This can only augur well for England's bid. If England want to be taken seriously by the world of football, it's only right they take the world of football seriously themselves. I am therefore very pleased to hear that Manchester United will be taking part."

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