Fifa president Sepp Blatter has said that England “must learn a little bit about fair play” and “learn to lose.”
Fifa’s embattled head confirmed he would stand for re-election as Fifa President next year, and urged England to bid for future tournaments, something FA Chairman Greg Dyke has said England will not do while Blatter remains President.
“Don’t forget that in football, you learn to win but also to lose. I appeal to all those to go back to the essence of football, and then you learn to lose,” Blatter told delegates via video link at the Soccerex Global Convention in Manchester. “I have lost a lot of times but, if you lose, then you stay there and you try to be better. And then, stay fair, that’s all.
“Fair play was invented by England, Great Britain – the beautiful game and fair play. So let’s celebrate fair play.
“It’s not important who is the president of Fifa. If England wants to have again a competition then they bid, whoever is the president of Fifa. And they should listen a bit about what is called fair play.”
When Mr Blatter stood for re-election in 2011, he said that term would be “my final four years as a candidate.”
Today the Swiss lawyer, now 78, said “my mission is not finished” and that at the recent Fifa Congress in Sao Paulo he had heard “a huge majority of national associations asking ‘Please go on, be our president also in future.’”
That was a meeting Greg Dyke said was “ a bit like North Korea.”
“I know Greg Dyke,” Blatter said. “He’s a man of communication. He knows it works. And if he has an outburst once, then so what? I still respect him because I think he’s a good guy.”
Mr Blatter seemed to confirm that the 2022 World Cup could not take place in summer, and that meetings are currently taking place with the major leagues to decide when it might be played.
“[We will] identify what is the best possible solution and when is the best possible moment to play in Qatar,” he said. “But that decision is not yet taken. Definitely not.”
Answering calls various politicians, including British Prime Minister Nick Clegg, to strip Russia of the 2018 World Cup, Blatter said Fifa “trusts in the strengths of football that the 2018 and 2022 World Cups will be played. There are already some voices coming out about 2018 talking about a boycott. A boycott in sport never has had any benefit. Let us wait and see the geo-political situation and FIFA shall not intervene with politics. But for the time being we are working with Russia. I have been there just a fortnight, three weeks ago and I have had the report on the stadium work they are doing and they are en route.”