FA’s FIFA intervention is ‘too little, too late’

FIFA president Joseph S. Blatter
FIFA president Joseph S. Blatter
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The Football Association’s attempt to have the FIFA election called off is “too little, too late”, according to the man who blew the whistle on alleged bribery by senior football figures.

USA’s FIFA member Chuck Blazer said the FA had missed the boat in terms of influencing the organisation.

Blazer told Press Association Sport: “Unfortunately with them, everything is too little too late.

“If they wanted other candidates they should have done things before the deadline.

“If they wanted to report malfeasance they shouldn’t have waited for a Parliamentary hearing.

“The FA needs to learn to be ahead of the curve and not behind the game.”

FA chairman David Bernstein admitted the attempt is almost certain to fail but insisted a “coronation” of Sepp Blatter is unacceptable.

Blatter is set to win a fourth term in office today as he is the only candidate standing.

Bernstein also wants FIFA to appoint an independent body to supervise reforms after the scandals of the last month that have caused a crisis in the world governing body.

The FA will need 75% of the 208 associations to back them later today - and that looks a forlorn hope.

Bernstein admitted: “To get 150-odd votes clearly would be extremely difficult when we’re starting from a standing start but there was actually a matter of principle involved. Myself and the FA feel that the situation FIFA has got itself into is in many ways unacceptable.

“Going forward in this situation if he does with a coronation rather than an election I don’t think does anybody any good - including Mr Blatter.”

Bernstein’s move came after Asian football chief Mohamed Bin Hammam pulled out of the race against Blatter at the weekend, hours before he and FIFA vice-president Jack Warner were provisionally banned from all football-related activities on bribery charges.

There have been rumours that some European countries will try to persuade Blatter to say he will step down after two years rather than four, but Bernstein said he had no knowledge of that.

The FA’s move has been publicly supported only by the Scottish FA.

Blatter officially opened FIFA’s Congress last night and admitted in his speech that FIFA’s stability was threatened by a “lurking danger”.

He said: “I thought we were living in a world of fair play and respect and discipline, and I unfortunately see this is no longer the case because the famous FIFA pyramid is suddenly unstable and there is a danger.

“Tomorrow I will speak to you on this danger that is lurking, and tell you how we can fight and work against this threat.”

Blazer also revealed that he has reported Warner to FIFA for allegedly violating his ban from all football-related activity.

Warner has written to Caribbean associations, and Blazer said he had also been holding meetings with associations’ officials.

Blazer - whom CONCACAF acting president Lisle Austin attempted to sack last night - said: “We have clear evidence of a violation of his suspension and we have reported that to the FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke.”