Coe: England needs FIFA presence

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Published: Sunday 7th June 2015 by The News Editor

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Sebastian Coe claims England will need FIFA insiders before they will be able to win the right to host the World Cup.

England failed in an attempt to secure the 2018 tournament and Lord Coe, who masterminded the London bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games, feels that a factor in England’s failure was the lack of “heavy hitters”.

“We need to face facts. Yes, England may well have suffered at the hands of a bidding process that mutated badly but that was not the only reason we will not be welcoming the footballing world to England in three years’ time,” he wrote in his Daily Telegraph column.

“We also lost because our national game in all its fractured component parts is dysfunctional. We often confuse the power and global penetration of the Premier League with the status of our national governing body. They are worlds apart.

“The FA should spend the time, before mounting another credible bid, in finding the right people of calibre to represent us internationally.

“I see no real evidence that this is happening. The simple truth is that for far too long we haven’t had heavy hitters representing our game on the international stage.

“We need to populate every level of FIFA and become insiders.”

Over the past two weeks FIFA has been embroiled in controversy. In late May, seven FIFA officials were arrested in dawn raids at a hotel in Zurich and were charged by US authorities along with two other FIFA officials and five corporate executives over allegations of racketeering, wire fraud and money-laundering conspiracies spanning 24 years.

Despite the arrests, FIFA president Sepp Blatter was re-elected but on Tuesday said he will step down and called an extraordinary congress to be held “as soon as possible”.

Coe feels England need to play a major role in the overhaul at FIFA and says former Manchester United executive David Gill could one day be the organisation’s president.

“(Football Association chairman) Greg Dyke’s declaration of UDI (Unilateral Declaration of Independence) over the last week will not serve us well. England needs to return to the table and be part of that change,” Coe added.

“David Gill, our newly elected (FIFA) executive committee member, is an exceptionally able man with a bandwidth of competencies. He also has the ability to eventually lead the organisation, although it may be a little early this time around.”

Published: Sunday 7th June 2015 by The News Editor

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