Football: United not out of the Cup yet

By David Anderson in Sydney Australia 0 Manchester United 1

WHILE Martin Edwards, the Manchester United chairman, insists there is no chance of the club fielding its youth team in next season's FA Cup, from which they have withdrawn, Geoff Thompson, the FA chairman, is not ruling out the idea.

It had been suggested that United could ask their youngsters to defend the Cup while the senior side contested the World Club Championship in Brazil in January.

"No offer of that nature has been made to us," said Edwards. "We have consistently said that every option was reviewed and our decision has been made."

But Thompson was far from dismissive of such a possibility. "The FA would certainly give this idea every consideration," he said. "The rules state that a club must field its best available team. In this case, that would appear to be the players left behind who have not gone to Brazil."

The Treble winners have been accused of devaluing the famous old competition by pulling out, but Edwards added: "I think that it would devalue the competition even more for us to play the youth team. What would the long- term ramifications of that be in terms of other clubs in the future?

"It has always been clearly understood that this was a strictly one-off situation and our decision has been made."

The Old Trafford chief was also keen to shift blame for the controversial decision away from the club.

"We would have preferred to have played in the FA Cup but we changed our minds purely because of the Government pressure," he told the Sunday Telegraph.

"The proof of that is that, when we were first approached to play in Brazil last January, we said an emphatic `no'. It was only when it was put to us that if we didn't play we would be putting the 2006 World Cup bid at risk and it would cost vital votes in the bidding, that we had to reconsider.

"The Government and the FA put it on our conscience."

United enjoyed the majority of the support as they beat Australia 1-0 in the second game of a two-match series yesterday. The pitch at the spanking new Olympic Stadium was much better than the terrible surface the United players endured in Melbourne and one player who clearly benefited was Ryan Giggs.

The Welshman was given licence to thrill after he was deployed in a free role and he was outstanding. He created an early chance for Dwight Yorke before he laid on the only goal after 25 minutes to the delight of the United contingent in the 78,000 crowd.

Giggs slid the ball through to Yorke, who had made a diagonal run to the right, and last season's top scorer with 29 goals duly slotted home past Jason Petkovic.

The European champions are masters at selling merchandise, so despite the sea of red in the 78,000 crowd it was little surprise to see United emerge in something completely different. Their new white tops and navy blue shorts, made them look more like Tottenham.

"We're always looking to expand our brand," Edwards said. "We are a brand, we're a worldwide brand and if by spreading the gospel that helps us to market ourselves worldwide, great, that's one of the things we aim to do."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
A recent rise in net migration has been considered bad news for the Government
voicesYet when we talk about it, the national media goes into a frenzy, says Nigel Farage
Life and Style
Miracle muffin: chemicals can keep a muffin looking good at least a month after it was bought
food + drinkThe alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Arts and Entertainment
TV
Sport
Jonny Evans and Papiss Cisse come together
football
News
Approved Food sell products past their sell-by dates at discounted prices
i100
News
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform Engineer - VMware / SAN / Tier3 DC

£45000 - £55000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform En...

Recruitment Genius: Purchasing Assistant

£10000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Ledger Assistant

£17000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...

Ashdown Group: Automated Tester / Test Analyst - .Net / SQL - Cheshire

£32000 per annum + pension, healthcare & 23 days holiday: Ashdown Group: A gro...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic