Football Association chairman Greg Dyke has defended the cut-throat gesture he made at the World Cup draw earlier this month, insisting it was merely “a piece of humour”.
Dyke caused a stir at the draw in Brazil on December 6 when he slid his index finger across his throat after England were placed in Group D alongside Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica.
Many viewed it as a defeatist gesture from a man who admitted earlier this year that he would not expect to see England win a World Cup before 2022.
But the 66-year-old, who replaced David Bernstein as chairman of the FA in July and immediately outlined plans to set up a commission to investigate the recent failures of the national team, insists England can get out of their group next summer - and even go all the way to the final.
Asked if he regretted his actions, Dyke told Sky Sports News: "No. It was a piece of humour. That's me.
"If you want a straight-laced suit, you can have a straight-laced suit. Or you can have someone like me.
"It was an instant reaction. Interestingly, there have been a number of football fans who've come up to me and said 'you're a proper football fan because you felt like we did'.
"Basically, it's quite a difficult draw. That doesn't mean to say we're not going to get through - I think actually we will get through - but it's a tough draw and we ought to recognise that.
"If you can get out of the group, you're four games from winning - and it could happen.
"No one is going to sit and say we're the favourites, but let's not kid ourselves, we have a chance."