Sport World Cup

Monday 5 December 2016

Dyke hints at rebel World Cup

Jason Burt and Ben Rumsby

Published 31/05/2015 | 02:30

FA Chairman Greg Dyke vows to step up pressure on FIFA President Sepp Blatter
FA Chairman Greg Dyke vows to step up pressure on FIFA President Sepp Blatter

English FA chairman Greg Dyke warned Sepp Blatter last night that he would be brought down as Fifa president by the corruption inquiries that have left world football's governing body on the brink of meltdown.

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Speaking a few hours after Blatter had claimed that he had "no concerns" over suggestions the FBI investigation could ultimately bring charges against him personally, Dyke vowed to step up pressure for the 79-year-old to be removed from office. Asked why he was so confident that Blatter would not survive, Dyke said: "Because the prosecuting authorities in Switzerland and the United States will come up with a lot more. And, as you all know, there is a lot more to come out.

"Even I was shocked by the amounts that were allegedly stolen by Jeffrey Webb and Co. Webb was seen as Blatter's successor. I'll be very surprised if this [Blatter's re-election] is the end of it. I'm already taking bets he won't be there in four years.

"When the American attorney general says this is the beginning not the end, she is probably right. I, personally, and we as the FA, have no faith whatsoever in Blatter's ability to reform Fifa. He's been there 16 years and how many corruption stories?"

Dyke also said that he was confident Qatar would be stripped of the right to host the 2022 World Cup if evidence of "bribery" was unearthed by either of the criminal probes .

Dyke said that "one or two people" had already suggested Uefa and the South American nations who opposed Blatter's re-election could stage a rebel World Cup in protest at his refusal to step down.

"I think that will depend on what happens in the months ahead," Dyke said. "I think everyone will wait and see what the FBI and the Swiss come up with. The interesting one was the Swiss because the Swiss prosecuting authorities don't do that kind of thing, I am told by the people in Switzerland, but they're involved.

"If the Swiss authorities come out with evidence that Qatar 2022 was awarded after bribery then I think a lot of us will be asking for it to be reopened," added Dyke, who reiterated that the FA would not bid for any Fifa tournament while Blatter remained president.

Dyke was speaking shortly after Blatter insisted that he had no fear of being arrested as part of the twin investigations because he had done nothing wrong. "Arrested for what?" he said. He insisted that he was "definitely" not the high-ranking official who is accused of authorising a $10m payment to the disgraced former Fifa vice-president Jack Warner that US prosecutors claim was a South African bribe to ensure the 2010 World Cup went to the country.

Blatter also refused to respond to Warner's allegation that his old boss was complicit in his alleged "thieving". The Swiss preferred to attack the conduct of the FBI, having already claimed that its investigation and British media attacks were motivated by both countries being beaten in the 2018 and 2022 World Cup votes.

Despite saying he would forgive but not forget the "hatred" shown him by Uefa during the election campaign, Blatter did not follow through with a threat to strip it of World Cup spots. Europe kept the 13 it had following an extraordinary executive committee meeting which was boycotted by FA vice-chairman David Gill.

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