Greg Dyke Rules Out England World Cup Bid Until Sepp Blatter Leaves FIFA

Stuart NewmanFeatured ColumnistJuly 22, 2014

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 08:  FA Chairman Greg Dyke speaks during the FA Chairman's England Commission Press Conference at Wembley Stadium on May 8, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images)
Tom Dulat/Getty Images

Football Association chairman Greg Dyke has revealed England won’t be bidding to host the World Cup while FIFA’s controversial president Sepp Blatter is still in charge, as noted by The Times’ James Masters on Tuesday:

With world football’s governing body facing yet more allegations of corruption, the latest surrounding Qatar’s successful 2022 bid, according to BBC News, Blatter isn’t exactly the most popular of figures among those associated with football.

Even former footballers have expressed frustration with the FIFA president, with former Southampton-star-turned-pundit Matt Le Tissier constantly calling for his resignation:

However, it is Blatter’s perceived hatred for the English media that has been blamed for previous failed World Cup bids, with 2018 the latest unsuccessful bid from the FA.

Dyke is convinced England would stand no chance in any future World Cup pursuit, as Masters revealed:

Dyke’s words don’t come without reason, either, as Blatter hit out at the British press during the World Cup in Brazil, labelling them racists looking to bring down FIFA, per Ben Rumsby of The Daily Telegraph:

Sadly, there’s a great deal of discrimination and racism, and this hurts me. We’ve seen what the British press has published. I don’t know what the reasoning is behind this but we must maintain unity. They want to destroy, not the game, but they want to destroy the institution, because our institution is strong, and is so strong we are sure they will not destroy it.

Leo Correa/Associated Press

The FA isn't crying foul play without just cause. England, after all, has everything in place to host a very impressive World Cup.

It’s one of few places in the world that wouldn’t need to spend billions on building stadiums, transportation links and infrastructure, as the country is so well prepared for the Premier League and Football League seasons that it’s all there.

Old Trafford, Mancheser. One of many stadiums in England capable of hosting a World Cup fixture
Old Trafford, Mancheser. One of many stadiums in England capable of hosting a World Cup fixtureClint Hughes/Associated Press

Not that hosting any major tournament wouldn’t cost a lot of money, but when the birthplace of football is constantly overlooked for the game's biggest tournament, something is going seriously wrong.

With that in mind, Dyke has vowed that he and the FA will be focussing on bringing the European Championships to England, as dealing with UEFA will be a much smoother process, per The Independent’s Tom Peck:

Even then, the FA will have to wait until 2024 to land the tournament. The 2016 iteration will be hosted in France, while 2020’s instalment is between Turkey, joint hosts Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Wales and further joint hosts Georgia and Azerbaijan.

Anyone that’s been alive long enough to remember will tell you that Euro ’96 saw England play arguably their best football of the past two decades, reaching the semi-finals in front of a home crowd before bowing out to eventual champions, Germany.

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 19: (L-R) A dejected Phil Jagielka, Steven Gerrard and Leighton Baines of England look on after losing to Uruguay 2-1 during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Uruguay and England at Arena de Sao Paulo on June 19
Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

England’s major-tournament record has hit a major decline since then, so maybe they desperately need the tag of hosts to bring them out of such a frustrating funk.

However, at least a decade remains before even the possibility of being hosts comes around, and while Blatter is still alive and kicking, it could stretch even beyond that.