Britain's automatic and
long-established vice-presidency of FIFA is now an anachronism
and the time might be right for it to be abolished, said English
FA chief executive Alex Horne.
He was backed by his counterpart in the Scottish FA, Stewart
Regan, who agreed that having an established seat at FIFA's top
table representing just England, Scotland, Wales and Northern
Ireland, was no longer relevant or fitted with modern governance
"We are open-minded about it. If you look at it objectively
it is quite anachronistic and I wouldn't fight tooth and nail to
keep it if I'm honest," Horne, in Istanbul for the annual UEFA
Congress, told Reuters:
"I'm not sure there's a great benefit in keeping it - if we
give it up in the right way there will be a little bit of
goodwill, and if we talk to UEFA what that means is there could
be an extra UEFA seat [on FIFA]."
Regan added: "I think the time has come for the seat to be
given up, I cannot see how it best serves our purposes today
when we could have more influence elsewhere."
FIFA has seven vice-presidential seats representing the six
continental confederations and Britain.
Britain's position dates back to 1946 after a Britain v Rest
of the World match was played at Hampden Park raising 35,000
pounds which put FIFA back on its feet financially
after World War Two.
However, FIFA is under-going a major review of its statutes
and German Theo Zwanziger, leading the reforming task force, has
earmarked the British vice-presidency as an outdated privilege
Of far more importance to the British nations is retaining
their influence on the International Football Association Board
(IFAB), the game's law-making body.
"As far as IFAB goes that's much more important to us - the
status of IFAB and the conservatism around controlling the laws
of the game and the sanctity with which we believe the laws
should be protected," Horne said.
The British associations formed IFAB in 1886, some 18 years
before FIFA came into existence. FIFA then joined IFAB in 1913.
"Contractually we do believe we have a position on this - we
entered into IFAB first and FIFA then joined us," Horne added
"We feel a lot more strongly about IFAB and if there are
sensible conversations to be had about composition then we will
listen to them."
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