FOOTBALL : Lord Triesman is refusing to budge from his position as chairman of England’s 2018 World Cup bid despite the shock resignation of Sir Dave Richards from the bid board.
Lord Triesman is refusing to budge from his position as chairman of England’s 2018 World Cup bid despite the shock resignation of Sir Dave Richards from the bid board.
Richards, the Premier League chairman, had been the bid’s deputy chairman in charge of international relations and his resignation is seen in some circles as a damning vote of no confidence in Triesman’s leadership of a campaign that has been rocked by a series of setbacks in recent weeks.
However, Andy Anson, England 2018′s chief executive, insisted the rest of the board were right behind Triesman, saying: “It’s absolutely vital that the chairman of the FA is in the most prominent position in this bid.
He added: “In our dealings with FIFA and UEFA it has been seen as essential that they deal with us through the FA.
“The chairman has done a fantastic job in the last few weeks meeting FIFA executive committee members around the world – he’s led the bid in a very effective way. I think we have to support him and get behind him – he’s the right person to lead the bid.”
England 2018 released no statement from Triesman, but Anson insisted Richards’ resignation was a personal decision and “not a Premier League issue” – and that the Premier League remained right behind the bid.
Anson said: “This was a personal decision by Sir Dave but he will continue to support the World Cup bid and use his wealth of international experience to support the campaign.
“This is not a Premier League issue. Sir Dave has made his own decision about his place on the board, so we’ve accepted his resignation and we move on.
“I’ve spoken to Richard Scudamore and David Gill who are out in Kuala Lumpur with Peter Kenyon working for the Premier League and supporting the bid.
“They are fully behind what we’re doing and it was encouraging to hear that being emphasised. They have done some excellent work on our behalf around Asia on their current trip so this not an issue about the Premier League.”