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:
Dyke says FA won't bid for FIFA tournaments while Blatter in charge of FIFA.— James Masters (@Masters_JamesD) July 22, 2014
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 asked why English not liked within FIFA: "I think it's to do with the British media."— James Masters (@Masters_JamesD) July 22, 2014
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.
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.
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:
Dyke: "I think in the future we will concentrate on hosting Uefa tournaments, not Fifa tournaments."— Tom Peck (@tompeck) July 22, 2014
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.
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.