A World Cup in England? Not while Sepp Blatter is in power, says Greg Dyke

FA chairman calls for root-and-branch reform of Fifa, but also explained why that would be impossible

For as long as Sepp Blatter remains the head of football’s world governing body, Fifa, England will not bid to host the World Cup finals, the FA chairman, Greg Dyke, has told MPs.

Appearing before the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee to answer questions on the bidding process for the controversial 2022 World Cup, Dyke by turn called for the root-and-branch reform of Fifa, and explained why such reform would be all but impossible.

“We’ve already taken the decision that we will not bid for Fifa tournaments – our decision is we will concentrate in the years ahead on bidding for Uefa tournaments,” Dyke said. England are currently in competition to host the final and semi-finals of Euro 2020, a tournament that, in a one-off, has no host country and will be spread all over the continent. Such a statement also means England would not bid for Fifa’s Women’s World Cup or youth tournaments.

A number of reforming proposals were last month put before Fifa’s congress in Sao Paulo, which Dyke said was “a bit like North Korea: ‘All hail the dear leader’”, but for the most part they failed.

“We think there’s a limited amount of time people should sit on the Fifa executive,” Dyke said. “We voted in favour of that but most voted against it. It’s that sort of reform that is needed to make sure we get proper turnover.

“Hopefully, a new president coming in would take a look at the whole structure. A lot of the European FAs made it clear they didn’t support Blatter but I’m afraid from the rest of the world he has overwhelming support. If he runs again he will win but I think it’s unlikely we at the FA would vote for him.”

Blatter signalled his intent to run again last month.

A report commissioned by Fifa into the 2022 bidding process, which was won by Qatar, by Michael Garcia, an American lawyer, is due to be delivered to Fifa’s ethics committee within weeks, but the findings will not be made public.

“We would like to see the whole thing published, even if some things would have to be redacted,” Dyke said, and admitted that, even as the head of the FA, he did not expect to see the report.

Though question marks have long hovered over the Qatar tournament, the shooting down of passenger plane MH17 over Ukraine has led many to call into question Russia’s suitability to host the tournament in four years’ time.

“I think that has to be looked at on a much longer-term scale than the next week or two,” Dyke said. “We [the FA] wouldn’t have a view yet.”

All World Cup bids are subject to a technical report, which includes humanitarian questions and political stability, which Dyke said “must be considered more closely,” and in reference to Qatar’s successful bid to hold a World Cup, “including how hot it is”.

Dyke also made it clear he has not given up on his “B team” proposal, which would mean second teams of Premier League clubs playing in the lower leagues with a quota of young English players.

“If you look at the Germany team that has just won the World Cup, all but two of that squad have played in B teams,” he said. “In England, there is a blockage. Seventy per cent of the Premier League is foreign, 50 per cent of the Championship, and that number goes up every year.”

England’s chance of ever winning a World Cup again, he said, was possible, “but I think it’s going to get tougher”.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Rob Lowe
peopleRob Lowe hits out at Obama's snub of Benjamin Netanyahu
Sport
football
News
Davies (let) says: 'Everybody thought we were having an affair. It was never true!'
people'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Arts and Entertainment
Over their 20 years, the band has built a community of dedicated followers the world over
music
News
Staff assemble outside the old City Road offices in London
mediaThe stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century at Britain's youngest paper
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us