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Michel Platini voices England 2018 World Cup bid fears


England's 2018 bid needs FA chairman

By David Bond
BBC Sports Editor in Monaco

Uefa president Michel Platini has warned the Football Association that delaying naming a new chairman could damage England's 2018 World Cup bid.

The FA has still to appoint a full-time successor to Lord Triesman, who quit in May after he was secretly recorded making allegations about rival bids.

Platini told BBC Sport: "If you do not have a president of a national association it's not good for the bid."

His comments came hours after Fifa inspectors praised England's 2018 team.

Following a four-day tour of the country's stadiums and presentations by the bid team, Fifa delegation leader Harold Mayne-Nicholls said a World Cup in England would be "a great experience with a long-lasting legacy" and was complimentary about the country's infrastructure and passion for football.

But Platini's words will raise fresh doubts over the FA's leadership problems.

Lord Triesman quit as chairman of the FA and England's 2018 bid after he was secretly taped claiming the Russian FA was looking to bribe referees at this summer's World Cup. Geoff Thompson, a member of the Fifa executive committee which will decide the vote in December, has replaced Triesman as head of the bid and Roger Burden is acting FA chairman, but the FA will not appoint a permanent successor until after the World Cup vote.

BBC Sport Editor David Bond

They believe it will cause further instability but Platini says the lack of a permanent leader is a problem.

In an interview with BBC Sport ahead of the draw for the Champions League in Monaco, Platini said: "I was sad because of what happened with Lord Triesman. I cannot have any better relations because there is no president of the FA at the moment.

"I think it will be time to have a new president. If you do not have a president of a national association it's not good for the bid.

"Some people may say 'why vote for a country that has no president of its FA?' It would be nice to have a president as soon as possible."

Platini was positive about England's technical bid however, and added: "I am sure about the quality of the football, the infrastructure and the passion. England will have no problem hosting a World Cup.

"We have four very good bids (Spain and Portugal, Russia and Holland and Belgium) in Europe and they can all accept to be perhaps one of the winners of the 2018 bid."

Platini's mission was always to guarantee the 2018 bid for Europe and with America now the only non European nation still in the running - they are expected to pull out before the vote - Platini believes he has achieved his goal.

But he insists he will vote for one of the four European candidates.

"I was tempted not to vote but I have to take my responsibility. I took my responsibility with financial fair play and I take my responsibility with many other things and I have to take responsibility for this too."

Former France playmaker Platini went on to address the system of five referees being trialled by Uefa in the Champions League and Europa League this season, stating that there should be virtually "zero tolerance" of mistakes under the initiative.

He stressed that he still prefers having extra officials to goal-line technology, despite Fifa having agreed to take another look at possible systems.

"So far the technology has not worked very well," he said. "I am more in favour of the experiment where the extra referee can see when the ball has gone over the line. For me that is the only solution."

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see also
Fifa praises England 2018 Cup bid
26 Aug 10 |  Football
Fifa inspector positive on 2018 bid
26 Aug 10 |  Football
Man United greats back 2018 bid
25 Aug 10 |  Football
England 2018 Cup bid 'unbeatable'
23 Aug 10 |  Football
Italia 90 chief backs England bid
09 Jun 10 |  Business
World Cup bids head-to-head
17 Oct 10 |  Football
Beckham hands over 2018 Cup bid
14 May 10 |  Football
Richards resigns from 2018 board
24 Nov 09 |  Internationals

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