Roger Burden, acting chairman of the Football Association (FA) in the UK, has withdrawn his application for the permanent position saying he can no longer trust FIFA members after the failure of England’s bid to host the 2018 World Cup.
“I recognize 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 I am not prepared to deal with people whom I cannot trust and I have withdrawn my candidacy,” he said in a statement.
He added that England’s bid team in Zurich, Switzerland, which included British Prime Minister David Cameron and the second in line to the throne, Prince William, were promised votes which had not been delivered by the Executive Committee (Exco) members.
Burden, who was appointed in May after rising through the ranks of the FA as representative for Gloucestershire in central -England, said he would continue as acting chairman until a successor could be found.
His decision followed a day of recriminations over England’s bid, which attracted just two votes out of 22 — one by their own representative — from FIFA’s executive committee in Thursday’s poll to decide the venue for the 2018 World Cup.
The decision went to Russia, which will stage soccer’s biggest showpiece for the first time. Qatar beat the US and three others in the vote to decide the hosts in 2022.
“I have no issue with Russia’s winning bid. I am sure they will put on a great World Cup and I have congratulated them,” Burden said.
“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,” he said. “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 materialize.”
Burden declined to blame the British media for England’s failure in the vote at FIFA’s Zurich headquarters.
He said that unless the selection process was changed it was not worth bids like England’s bothering with the process.
“When you have the best technical bid, fantastic inspection visits and the best economic report — and from what people told us the best presentation yesterday — it’s quite hard to stomach that seemed to count for absolutely nothing. Having only 22 guys voting gives them too much power and influence,” he said.
DRIVING AMBITION: ‘I was excited by playing at the Olympics ... Who knows what’s going to happen? Hopefully, I could have a chance to win a medal,’ Tiffany Chan said After just three tournaments this year, a chance of Olympic glory postponed and two weeks alone in quarantine, golfer Tiffany Chan could be forgiven for feeling sorry for herself. Instead, Hong Kong’s first LPGA Tour player is sporting a broad grin and taking the positives from the game’s COVID-19 shutdown, determined to establish herself in the fiercely competitive world of women’s golf. The talented 26-year-old kept herself fit physically and mentally during the lockdown, and is happy to be back on the fairways since the easing of coronavirus restrictions last month. “When I came back to Hong Kong [in March], I actually did
Eleven-year-old skateboarder Sky Brown, who is hoping to become Britain’s youngest Olympian next year, fractured her skull and broke bones in her left hand after falling from a ramp during a training session in California. Brown posted a video of the accident on Instagram, but reassured supporters that she was fine. “I don’t usually post my falls or talk about them ... but this was my worst fall. I just want everyone to know that it’s OK — don’t worry, I’m OK,” she said. “I’m going to push boundaries for girls with my skating and surfing. I’m going for gold in 2021
It is the land of the world champions, but is it really a soccer country? That is the question that some in France have been asking this week while its European neighbors work to bring the sport back after the COVID-19 shutdown. Debate has raged ever since Ligue 1 decided in late April to bring a premature end to the season with 10 rounds of matches unplayed. By contrast, two weeks have passed since the Bundesliga restarted, while Italian Minister for Sport Vincenzo Spadafora on Thursday confirmed that Serie A would return on June 20, and La Liga and the English Premier
A feel-good campaign allowing fans to have cardboard cutouts of themselves at Australian rugby league games has been hijacked by pranksters, with a notorious serial killer among those making an appearance — while one TV show edited an image of Adolf Hitler into the crowd. The NRL launched “Fan In The Stand” to coincide with the sport’s return at the weekend after its season was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Supporters are barred from stadiums under strict health protocols, but can pay A$22 (US$15) to have their photograph printed on a life-size cutout and placed in the stands of