Dyke: Gill is just what FIFA needs


Published: Sunday 22nd March 2015 by The News Editor

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David Gill will be one of the “awkward squad” asking searching questions if he is elected as Britain’s FIFA vice-president, Football Association chairman Greg Dyke has claimed.

Gill, the former Manchester United chief executive, is standing against Wales’ Trefor Lloyd Hughes for the position, which is being elected by UEFA’s 54 members at its congress in Vienna on Tuesday.

Dyke, who has made clear his opposition to FIFA president Sepp Blatter continuing in the position, said Gill would act as a counter-balance to the “acolytes” on FIFA’s executive committee.

The FA chairman said: “David will be the sort of person who will do the job as a FIFA executive committee member properly. He will not be afraid of asking appropriate questions – in fact perhaps FIFA needs to have someone from the awkward squad asking tough questions.

“He has a strong background in finance so if there are financial questions he will know what to ask and what to look for.

“There is a feeling that there have been too many acolytes and not enough people asking difficult questions and ensuring that decisions are taken in a transparent, ethical and business-like manner.

“Michel Platini (UEFA president) was very keen for David to stand for the position and to represent UEFA on the FIFA executive committee.”

Gill himself admits that change cannot happen overnight.

He said: “I aim to use my skills in football around the table and work with my UEFA colleagues to have a greater say and influence in how it operates. In terms of votes it’s quite an important block.

“In areas like transparency and decision-making, it’s not going to happen overnight and it’s arguable whether it will happen unless there is a president change.

“My personal view is that it needs a change at the top to ensure that the required changes take place. I’m not naive enough to think I can change things overnight.”

The Football Association of Wales has claimed its English counterparts have reneged on a deal agreed in 2011 which would see a Welsh nominee replace Northern Ireland’s Jim Boyce as FIFA vice-president.

Gill said the agreement became void after FIFA reforms, which saw the British FIFA vice-presidency elected by all UEFA members instead of just the four home nations.

He added: “If there was a deal, that then changed after the reforms. It may be semantics but it previously was the British vice-president of FIFA. Now it’s UEFA electing a FIFA vice-president.

“We (the FA) very clearly took the view, as did UEFA, that the 54 countries of UEFA will determine that person and I think that makes sense. It’s more democratic to have that person selected by all 54 countries. If there had been that agreement, if it hadn’t been torn up, then obviously it would be the Welsh turn.”

Published: Sunday 22nd March 2015 by The News Editor

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