LONDON: David Gill, former Manchester United chief executive, has changed his mind about not standing for the role of effective British vice-president the executive committee of world federation FIFA next year writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The current British vice-president is Northern Ireland’s Jim Boyce whose term of office end at FIFA Congress next May.
Reforms within the FIFA structure means the British vice-presidency, originally negotiated by Sir Stanley Rous in 1946, is being abolished, However European federation UEFA decided to maintain the role through its own nomination procedure. Hence UEFA will vote between candidates from the four home associations at congress in Vienna next March.
Gill had initially declined nomination by England, indicating that he felt more at home in the less politically intense milieu of the European governing body where he is already a member of the executive committee.
However a statement from the Football Association has signalled Gill’s volte-face.
The FA said: “David Gill has declared his intention to stand for the role of one of UEFA’s vice-presidents on the FIFA executive committee.
“Following recent FIFA reforms, UEFA members will in March 2015 choose one of their vice-presidents from a list of candidates to be proposed by the four British associations.
“As such, The FA will put Gill forward as a candidate for the election, which will be held by European football’s governing body during its Congress in Vienna.
“As FA Vice-Chairman, Gill joined the UEFA executive committee in May 2013. If elected to the FIFA exco he would replace the outgoing Jim Boyce of Northern Ireland following the FIFA Congress in May 2015.”
Gill, who has changed his mind only in the last few weeks, said: “This is a decision I have been thinking about for some time. Although I had initially wanted to focus on developing my relatively new role within UEFA, I believe there is an opportunity, if elected, to use the FIFA position to make a real difference while complementing that ongoing work.
“Having sounded out many people across the game including fellow board members at Manchester United, The FA and UEFA, I would hope to make a positive contribution and use my candidacy to drive a debate for continued reform.”