Thursday, August 09, 2007

England has never had any impact on world football - FIFA VP goes after 2018 England World Cup big

The decision on the location for the 2018 World Cup is still 5-years away but that hasn't stopped FIFA VP and Concacaf President Jack Warner from attacking England's plans as if it was the final month of a tight political campaign.

Warner, who is very good at using the sport of soccer to enhance his own financial situation, lead heavy into England's hopes in an interview with BBC World Service to air on Saturday. Warner thinks that even if the 2018 finals were held in Europe, England would not get them because "nobody in Europe likes England."

He went on to say: "England - who invented the sport - has never had any impact on world football. England at no time has had the love and support of Europe. For Europe, England is an irritant." Those are some heavy words.

At the center of all this is the fact that Concacaf would be denied a chance to host the finals if the rotational system is scrapped.
There are moves to give it to England. I must fight that.

I really don't believe that we should just lay down and play dead to anyone who wants to take the World Cup from CONCACAF.

I know in FIFA there are those persons who believe the rules should be changed to satisfy Europe but I tell you this today we shall fight it to the very end.
I'm sure Warner's motives for bringing the games to the region in 2018 have at least as much to do with personal desire as they do confederation pride, but this is an interesting theme he is playing. If he can try to play the rest of the world vs. Europe, he might be able to force FIFA's hand.

I'm no fan of Warner, but I do like that he is standing up for Concacaf. Now how much of what he says is just blowing hot wind to try and land some other benefit and how much of it is sincere, we'll find out over the next few years. But for now, don't expect to see Warner having high tea with Steve McClaren at Wembley anytime soon.

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