LONDON: If the members of the UK Parliament’s Common Select Committee inquiting into the Qatar 2022 World Cup award learned anything new yesterday then they had not been keeping up with the subject.
Football Association chairman Greg Dyke and two Sunday Times investigative reporters gave evidence and were questioned by MPs but had nothing new to offer beyond everything which has long been in the public domain.
Dyke said he was “certain” the 2022 finals would not be held in the summer, insisting it is “too dangerous” because of the high temperatures.
A FIFA task force led by secretary general Jerome Valcke and Asian football boss Sheikh Salman has been consulting with World Cup stakeholders about switching the tournament to probably November and December.
Dyke also expressed a belief in the need for widespread reform of FIFA, without apparently crediting the reform work which has taken place. He thought further progress unlikely to occur while Sepp Blatter remained president.
He said: “We think there’s a limited amount of time people should sit on the FIFA executive. We voted in favour of that but most voted against it. It’s that sort of reform that is needed to make sure we get proper turnover. Hopefully a new president coming in would take a look at the whole structure.
“A lot of the European FAs made it clear they didn’t support Blatter but I’m afraid from the rest of the world he has overwhelming support. “If he runs again he will win, but I think it’s unlikely we at the FA would vote for him.
“I don’t think we should walk out of FIFA because within a week everyone has forgotten you. I don’t think that sort of gesture-politics would help. I think trying to reform through UEFA and from the inside is the better way forward.”
In fact the European federation, of which the FA is a member, proposed a term limit only for the president; not for other members of the FIFA executive committee.
Dyke compared FIFA Congress last month in Sao Paulo with North Korea because it was all “hail to the leader [Blatter]”.
Sunday Times reporters Jonathan Calvert and Heidi Blake were also questioned by MPs.
They criticised FIFA’s own ethics inquiry, led by American attorney Michael Garcia, as “horribly flawed” and promised more revelations of their own.
Garcia submits his report in early September and independent judge Hans-Joachim Eckert will probably pronounce conclusions and any sanctions in early October.