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World Cup vote - FA's Alex Horne calls for Fifa changes

FA general secretary Alex Horne
Horne, shadowed by England manager Fabio Capello and former England player Andy Cole, at Thursday's Fifa vote

A spending limit for bids and earlier elimination rounds may improve the way World Cup hosts are chosen by Fifa, according to the Football Association.

England lost out in the race for the 2018 tournament after gathering only two of 22 first-preference votes.

"I think the process could have sensible reform," FA general secretary Alex Horne told BBC Radio 5 live.

"For example, for nine bidders to go all the way to Zurich may not be strictly necessary."

Horne, who became general secretary in May after a spell as temporary chief executive, admitted to 5 live's Sportsweek programme that he would have to examine why a bid that had received a joint-strongest rating in Fifa's technical report had received such little backing.

A system that removed the least-favoured bidders at an early stage, as suggested by Horne, may have shortened an England 2018 campaign that lasted three years at a cost of £15m.

"I think there are other ways of looking at the process, not just bidding one year at a time. There could be pre-elimination rounds or criteria," he added.

England 2018 chief executive Andy Anson has attacked the way football's governing body Fifa selected hosts for 2018 and 2022, describing the executive committee who vote on the event's hosts as "incredibly protective of this cushy nice life".

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The individual conduct of some members of the 22-man committee has also been questioned by England 2018 officials who claim they had been assured of backing that never materialised.

"I think it is difficult in the aftermath of last week, with some of the conversations that the representatives of the bid were involved in, to trust in some individuals," reflected Horne.

"People were specifically told things that didn't come to light. If half a dozen people promised us a vote and we only got one then people lied to us."

Sports Minister Hugh Robertson, one of a 30-man delegation campaigning in Zurich ahead of Thursday's decision, revealed that eight executive committee members had indicated they intended to vote for England.

Despite claims that Marios Lefkaritis was one of those who had changed their mind over support for England, Robertson defended the Cypriot.

"To be fair to him, he was never on my list of confirmed voters. Indeed I was due to go and see him in November and was told not to bother to do so because he was going to vote for Russia," said Robertson.

"I did actually speak to him myself in Zurich. There was no indication that he was going to vote for us as a first-preference."

Lefkaritis refused to reveal if he added to the vote that England gained from former FA chairman Geoff Thompson. The England 2018 team believe African confederation president Issa Hayatou voted for them.

"Maybe I voted, maybe I didn't. I'm not denying anything. I'm not accepting anything," stated Lefkaritis.

"It was a normal bidding process but unfortunately only one has to be a winner. What can you do?"



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see also
Mayor cancels Fifa's hotel stay
05 Dec 10 |  London
Anson floats Fifa reform proposal
04 Dec 10 |  Football
FA chief to quit in Fifa protest
04 Dec 10 |  Football
Redknapp baffled by Fifa decision
03 Dec 10 |  Football
England 2018 bid 'sunk by media'
03 Dec 10 |  Football
England bid boss fumes at voting
02 Dec 10 |  Football
Russia & Qatar to host World Cups
02 Dec 10 |  Football
England miss out in 2018 Cup vote
02 Dec 10 |  Football
The World Cup in their hands
02 Dec 10 |  Football


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