Yesterday (2 September), Abba released their first new music in four decades, announcing a new album later this year and two new singles which are available now.
Speaking on GMB, presenter Kate Garraway said: “I was surprised to hear... you at one point had talked to Abba about recording a World Cup song for England.”
Eriksson recalled: “I worked together with Tord Grip, and he’s a close friend of Abba’s Benny Andersson. One day, we phoned up Benny and asked, ‘Would you like to do an England song before the big tournament? I think it was a World Cup.
According to Eriksson, Andersson then replied that he would “do that for free”.
“And then I went to the board of the FA and told them, ‘Abba is willing to do the song’, and they said, ‘No. We cannot use Swedish singers doing that song. It must be an English [artist],’” Eriksson continued. “So that was a pity but I can understand it.”
Harry Redknapp, who was also being interviewed on the programme, commented: “Having just given the job to a Swedish manager, it seems strange that you can’t give a song to the Swedish band. It’s crazy, really.”
It’s not clear exactly when Eriksson claims the incident took place. He served as manager of the England men’s team from 2001 to 2006.
Before their recent reunion, Abba split up in 1982.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies