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No World Cup bid before Fifa change

The Government would not consider a further bid to host the World Cup until Fifa becomes more "transparent and accountable", Sports minister Hugh Robertson has said.

Mr Robertson said it was "probably not a bad thing" the bid to host the 2026 World Cup was not scheduled for another two years, adding Fifa was in need of "radical structural reform".

He told the Commons: "Any future bid for a Fifa World Cup is some time away, probably not a bad thing, and probably not until 2013. Clearly any decision would be considered on its merits.

"However, I would expect there to be a far greater degree of transparency and accountability at Fifa before we consider any future bid."

Mr Robertson made his remarks as Damian Collins, Tory MP for Folkestone and Hythe, said any England bid to host the World Cup was "likely to fail" unless Fifa was reformed, claiming it had "a world of double-dealing and self-interest under Sepp Blatter".

Mr Robertson added: "I think it is very clear, both from our experience of the last bid and from what has happened subsequently, that it is an organisation in need of radical structural reform.

"The principals of transparency and accountability must govern that. The newly elected president (Sepp Blatter) has set the process in train and we will watch that very carefully but until that process is complete, I doubt we would consider a future bid."

Last week, the Prime Minister David Cameron said Fifa's reputation was now at an "all-time low" following Mr Blatter's reappointment as president in an uncontested election.

Mr Robertson said "transparency and accountability was an issue in English football", adding the Government "awaited with interest" the findings of the Culture, Media and Sports Select Committee report into the domestic game.

He also described the comments by the Supporters' Trust chief executive Dave Boyle on Twitter, as he celebrated the promotion of AFC Wimbledon, as "vile". The Premier League has since decided to rescind the trust's funding but Mr Robertson said he hoped there would be a "successful conclusion" to a meeting on Friday.


From Belfast Telegraph