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FA upheaval will not harm 2018 bid, says Lord Triesman


Triesman denies FA personality clash

Lord Triesman insists Ian Watmore's resignation as Football Association chief executive will not harm England's chances of staging the 2018 World Cup.

FA chairman Triesman is also confident the departure will not affect Fabio Capello's team at the 2010 World Cup.

"The footballing side is not impacted by these things," he told BBC Sport.

Watmore resigned after disagreements with senior FA board figures after less than a year in the job, with Alex Horne taking over in an acting capacity.

Horne, 37, is the current chief operating officer and he steps into a role that he likely to keep until the end of the year after Lord Triesman revealed that a permanent appointment was some way off.

He has acted as the FA's acting chief executive once before following Brian Barwick's departure in 2008.

On 2 December football's world governing body Fifa votes on which nations will host the 2018 and the 2022 World Cups, with England in the running to host the 2018 tournament, and only after that decision has been made will a new chief executive be appointed.

Leading English football is one of the great things you can do in life

FA chairman Lord Triesman

"We've done really well in the build-up to South Africa," Triesman, who was speaking after an FA board meeting on Tuesday, told BBC Sport. "The footballers are vehement they want to go and win the World Cup.

"The 2018 bid is also on course. It's run by a separate organisation and that is working. Fifa insists on an arm's length organisation with a separate financial structure for auditing purposes.


"The bid is in good shape - just ask the Fifa executive how we are doing."

Triesman is confident the organisation would be able to find a high-calibre figure to become the seventh FA chief executive in 11 years.

"Leading English football is one of the great things you can do in life," said the FA chairman. "I think people will apply. I'm not nervous about good people applying."

West Ham co-owner David Gold, meanwhile, believes Watmore wanted to implement change too quickly.

Sports minister presses for FA reform

"He should have had more patience and waited for the opportunity - which I'm sure will emerge because everybody wants the best for football as a whole," Gold told BBC Radio 5 live.

"I've got every confidence that this will all be resolved. You do need a chief executive who's got to be patient to work with all the parties, bring them together in the best interests of football as a whole."

The BBC has learned that 51-year-old Watmore was angered by a leaked e-mail detailing what should have been a private briefing to FA board members.

Watmore vowed to "damage beyond repair" the person responsible for the leak.

It is known that he also had a number of disagreements with Sir David Richards, the chairman of the Premier League.

Richards has admitted there had been differences of opinion, but viewed those as the rough and tumble of football politics.

In a statement the FA maintained that it was "stable, working normally and geared up for success".

The statement added: "Further to reports following Ian Watmore's announcement, the board are clear that the Professional Game has not blocked proposals for change.

"Additionally, the board does not accept that Ian's departure is down to any one individual or any personality clash with Ian."

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see also
FA holds talks after Watmore exit
23 Mar 10 |  Football
Watmore installed as new FA boss
18 Feb 09 |  Football
Barwick to leave post as FA chief
21 Aug 08 |  Internationals
Triesman set for FA chairman role
20 Dec 07 |  Football

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