’England unsuitable venue for gala,’ says FIFA General Secretary

England could be losing out on hosting prestigious FIFA gala events, including the 2011 FIFA Awards gala, because of the UK media’s ongoing perceived vendetta towards football’s international governing body.

Speaking at a press conference in Zurich this week to announce the nominees  for the 2011 FIFA Awards, which include Lionel Messi of Barcelona and Cristiano Ronado of Real Madrid,  FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke claimed his organisation had been made to feel unwelcome in England in the wake of England’s failed bid to host the 2018 World Cup.

FIFA voted on Russia as the 2018 hosts and Qatar for 2022.

Lord Sebastian Coe, who heads the London 2012 Olympic effort, recently noted: “We sometimes confuse the power and the global reach of the Premier League with influence in the corridors of power in the administration of the game (football).”

Valcke had initially included London among proposed destination hosts for the 2011 FIFA Awards, alongside Paris and Madrid, but later questioned whether FIFA was welcome in England.

Valcke also suggested English hostility towards FIFA went back much farther.

“The way the UK media analysed or worked on FIFA did not start with the decision last December,” he was quoted by The Times as saying (6 December) “It’s a long, long thing. The media in England are as they are and the media in other countries are less interested – or maybe they don’t have the same approach on FIFA and football.”

Do you have news for CN? Email: pcolston@mashmedia.net

Paul Colston

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Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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