Football: Kelly: `I acted in interest of FA'

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The Independent Online
GRAHAM KELLY, the former Football Association chief executive, stands by his decision to give the FA of Wales the pounds 3.2m grant which cost him his job. Kelly insists he acted in the best interests of the FA and the campaign to stage the 2006 World Cup.

He admits that one reason for helping the FAW was to secure their support for the bid of the FA chairman, Keith Wiseman, to be Britain's Fifa vice- president, but claimed it was not a bribe.

"I went into it with very good intentions to seek to strengthen England's position in world football generally and in connection with the World Cup campaign," he told BBC Radio Five Live.

Wiseman, himself in peril after the FA's executive committee passed a vote of no confidence in him for his part in the affair, has claimed that leading figures in the game wanted Kelly out.

"Several people had been after Graham for some time," he alleged. "I'm not going to name names but various individuals at the top of the professional game wanted someone in place prepared to act as they wanted."

In spite of the vote of no confidence, Wiseman has refused to go and has instead vowed to fight to clear his name. His fate will be decided by the full FA Council when it meets on 4 January.

"As for myself I have done nothing wrong," Wiseman said. "I was acting in the FA's best interests and following accepted business practice and I want to clear my name of any hint of impropriety.

"The process followed to remove me was unconstitutional. The full FA council is the only body that has the right to remove the chairman. I intend to put the matter entirely in their hands," he added.

Wiseman admitted that recent events had been a huge strain. "The past few days have been horrendous for my wife and family," he said.

"I haven't been able to live in my own house and have been staying with friends. I've never had the remotest professional problem of any kind and to have that reputation put at risk by football issues is difficult to cope with."

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