Barwick slams Warner's 'personal' World Cup attack

August 10, 2007

Football Association chief executive Brian Barwick has expressed his disappointment following remarks criticising England by FIFA vice-president Jack Warner.

Warner has said he will battle to stop England hosting the 2018 World Cup, describing the country as an 'irritant' and unliked by the rest of Europe.

The FA have written to Warner, also president of the CONCACAF federation, to explain his attack.

The FA have not commented directly on Warner's comments on the 2018 World Cup but have dismissed the 'irritants' claim.

Barwick told the BBC: 'On UEFA, we are - alongside Germany - the most well-represented country in football across committees and working groups.

'I think frankly they are personal remarks. I think Fifa will distance themselves from them very quickly.'

Chairman Geoff Thompson, who is also a FIFA and UEFA vice-president, added in the Daily Telegraph: 'I find that rather surprising to be honest. I think we are popular in Europe and we have made a significant contribution to UEFA and we have very good connections.'

Warner said in an interview with BBC World Service that he will 'fight to the very end' to stop FIFA changing the rotation rules and allowing Europe to host the World Cup in 11 years' time.

He believes England are unlikely to win the race to be hosts.

'If by chance, in 2018, the World Cup were to go to Europe, I'm quite sure, with the English luck as it is, they won't get it,' Warner, of Trinidad and Tobago, said.

'It'll be Italy, Spain, or it might even be France. Nobody in Europe likes England. England - who invented the sport - has never had any impact on world football. England at no time has had the love and support of Europe. For Europe, England is an irritant.

'There are moves to give it to England. I must fight that. I really don't believe that we should just lay down and play dead to anyone who wants to take the World Cup from CONCACAF.

'I know in FIFA there are those persons who believe the rules should be changed to satisfy Europe but I tell you this today we shall fight it to the very end.'