England demands explanation from Warner

August 10, 2007

LONDON -- English Football Association (FA) chairman Geoff Thompson has written to FIFA vice-president Jack Warner demanding an explanation for his disparaging comments about the country's possible bid to host the 2018 World Cup.

Thompson said in a statement on Friday that the FA were "shocked and disappointed" by the comments attributed to Warner in a news release issued by the BBC World Service.

CONCACAF president Warner has been quoted saying that he would do all he could to prevent England hosting the tournament.

"There are moves to give it to England and I must fight that," he said.

Warner wants the event to be staged in his region, which covers North and Central America and the Caribbean.

He added: "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.

"It'll be Italy, Spain or it might 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."

EXPLANATION REQUEST

Thompson, who is also a vice-president of FIFA and European governing body UEFA, added in the statement: "I have written to Jack Warner today to clarify the accuracy of the quotes and request his views and an explanation as to why he made them if they are accurate.

"Understandably, we were shocked and disappointed to read the views attributed to Mr Warner, with whom we have enjoyed a very good relationship.

"Until we have all the facts in front of us at The FA, we are both unwilling and unable to pass any comment regarding these potentially explosive remarks.

"However, regarding the FIFA World Cup 2018, The FA, with the full support of the British Government, has already indicated that should FIFA award the World Cup to Europe in 2018, we will give serious consideration to making such a bid."

England's 2018 World Cup ambassador Richard Caborn also responded to Warner's comments.

He told BBC radio on Friday "That is Jack. He will fight to the death to get it to CONCACAF and I understand that.

"We will put a strong case, along with the Football Association, to get it.

"What is unfortunate is that Jack has attacked England and particularly the FA -- and the FA has done a first-class job.

"They have got 30 schemes running around the world, education programmes, on six continents.

"Indeed in Trinidad, for the last seven years they have had three workshops running which have been incredibly well-received by CONCACAF, so it's not quite true what Jack's saying."