Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Fifa cannot be trusted: FA chief

Acting chairman of the FA Roger Burden said Fifa could not be trusted

The Football Association's (FA) acting chairman Roger Burden has launched an astonishing attack on Fifa in the wake of England's 2018 World Cup defeat saying the world governing body cannot be trusted.

Burden has withdrawn his candidacy to be the permanent independent chairman of the FA because he "is not prepared to deal with people whom I cannot trust".

In a letter to FA board members, Burden said: "I had applied for the position of chairman. I recognise that an important part of the role is liaison with Fifa, our global governing body. I am not prepared to deal with people whom I cannot trust and I have withdrawn my candidacy."

The FA's unhappiness at the 2018 decision is also expected to lead to moves to scrap plans for a friendly international against Thailand in June - the match was organised in an attempt to gain support for England's bid.

England 2018 officials said as many as six of the 22 Fifa members had promised to vote for England and in the end only one did so apart from Britain's own member Geoff Thompson.

Burden said he knew there may have been a backlash after the Sunday Times and BBC Panorama investigations of FIFA but could not comprehend that England had only secured two votes.

Burden's letter added: "We were equal top of Fifa's own technical assessment of the four bids. We were top of an independent assessment of the best commercial bids and our presentation on Thursday was widely acclaimed as the best of the 2018 and 2022 bids.

"Against this background, I am struggling to understand how we only achieved two votes. It is difficult to believe that the voting was an objective process. On top of that, Prince William, the Prime Minister and other members of our delegation were promised votes that did not materialise."

Burden said he will continue as acting chairman for the time being until a permanent chairman is appointed.

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