Roger Burden, the FA’s acting chairman, has told Channel 4 News he will not take the job full time in protest at Fifa and its decision-making process in what he called a “night of the long knives” after Russia was awarded World Cup 2018 ahead of England.
He explained: “I made the decision simply because I cannot trust many members of the Fifa executive committee and I recognise that if I were to become full-time chairman of the Football Association I would have to liase with them – but I’m not prepared to deal with people who I can’t trust and that’s why I’ve withdrwn my candidacy.
To only get two votes was almost unbelievable. Roger Burden
“It was a difficult decision – but I made it relatively quickly having seen what went on in Zurich and having made it I’m convinced I did the right thing.
“The background is quite well-known now in terms of the quality of our bid, it was measured to be equal best technically, best commercially and I think our presentation was absolutely the best.
“To only get two votes – one of which was our own Geoff Thomson – was almost unbelievable. And of course several members of the committee did promise Prince William that they would support us. Clearly that didn’t happen – and I thought that’s just unacceptable.”
He added: “This is my personal position. I’ve decided I don’t want to deal with people whose word you can’t take and you just can’t trust. That’s the personal position that I’ve adopted.