LONDON: Football Association chairman Greg Dyke believes that, whatever his own opinion, Sepp Blatter is virtually immovable as president of FIFA writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Dyke met Blatter this week to discuss a range of issues, four months after a sharp exchange in Sao Paulo on the eve of the World Cup.
On that occasion Dyke rejected Blatter’s accusations of racism aimed at the UK media and complained at the Swiss veteran’s reversal of his decision to step down from his role at the head of the world federation.
Interviewed on BBC Radio Five, Dyke – former director-general of the BBC – said that the use of TV technology had been one of the topics. Blatter wants experiments with video replay challenges during games.
Dyke said: “We discussed a range of things including the use of TV technology. Mr Blatter is a late convert but I think that, in 20 years’ time, people will think its curious we didn’t use any realtime technology sooner.”
Blatter, thought Dyke, is in agreement over the impossibility of playing the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar in the traditional summer date because of the heat.
The FA may find itself on collision course with the Premier League after opposition this week to a winter switch expressed by both the European Club Association and the European Professional Football Leagues.
Dyke said: “Mr Blatter flew to Qatar straight after the World Cup in Brazil so he was there in July and realised how unbelievably hot it is and that you can’t hold it in the summer.
“There seems this week to have been some backtracking on that but I don’t think it’s possible and I don’t thnk he thinks it is possible either.
“Everybody thinks it will be maybe November and December of 2022 or January and February of 2023.”
Dyke then addressed the tension-filled issue of Blatter’s pursuit of re-election next May for a fifth term as FIFA president.
The FA chairman said: “The Football Association has made it very clear that we didn’t think he should stand again and we needed another candidate. We still hope another serious candidate will emerge.
“I think there’s a possibility another serious candidate will emerge but their chances of getting in are not great. I think [Sepp Blatter] will be there for another four years.
“In English football we all think a change would be the right thing. As an individual he’s OK but we all think two terms is probably as much as anyone should do in that job. You need change and it’s hard to get change if you don’t change the president.”
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