Thompson stands down early as FA chairman

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The Independent Online

Geoff Thompson will step down as Football Association chairman next week. Thompson had been due to leave the post in the summer but announced at an FA board meeting in London yesterday that he will make way for Lord Triesman at the end of the month.

Triesman will become the first independent chairman of the FA from 1 February, though Thompson will retain senior positions within Fifa, the world governing body, and Uefa, the European administrators.

"I have decided it would be in the best interests of the FA to allow Lord Triesman to take up his new appointment at his earliest opportunity," Thompson said. "I will work with Lord Triesman and the FA over the coming weeks to ensure a smooth and effective handover."

Thompson has been chairman for the last nine years and an FA councillor since 1979, in addition to a 12-year stint as chairman of the FA's disciplinary committee.

One job for Lord Triesman when he takes over will be to oversee England's bid to host the 2018 World Cup finals. There may be strong competition from the Dutch FA who, with its own putative bid in mind, has held meetings with representatives from Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Eindhoven and are confident about improving the stadia in the cities.

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