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Page last updated at 15:48 GMT, Tuesday, 29 June 2010 16:48 UK

Former FA chief Barwick baffled by Capello's England

Downcast England players

Highlights - Germany 4-1 England

By Brian Alexander
BBC Radio 5 live

Former Football Association chief Brian Barwick, who hired Fabio Capello, is baffled why the highly-paid England manager's team failed at the World Cup.

"When I appointed Fabio I believed I was appointing someone special and his talents were endorsed all over the world," Barwick told BBC Radio 5 live.

"Up until three weeks ago those endorsements were still there, but that was a disappointing campaign.

"The FA has a big call to make on what happens next."

Barwick added that "all the stories" from the tournament will emerge over the next fortnight as English football faces up to yet another World Cup post-mortem following the national team's abject failure in South Africa.

"Football is a sport with a great deal of politics. And the politics gets in the way," added Barwick.

"'Was the team too tired? Do we have the right manager?' They are the same old arguments, but all I know is that England must be protected from being diminished within the hierarchy of football.

Keane defends 'brilliant' Capello

"All of football has to look at it. It's great to have a thriving Premier League, but the country comes to a stop when England play."

And Barwick highlighted the fact that the same man, Sir Dave Richards, is chairman of both the Premier League and Club England.

"A lot will depend on how he can carry out those roles without there being a conflict of interest. The public expect it now," commented Barwick

"The League is incredibly powerful and a brilliant export item. It is a brilliant piece of commercial wizardry. But it has attracted many foreign players and sometimes the best England players are on the bench with their clubs.

"I can't address those issues now and I found it difficult when I could have had some influence."

On Monday former England technical director Howard Wilkinson commented on the FA's failure to adopt his far-reaching review in 1998 into how to produce England players who could win a World Cup.

In response Barwick admitted: "People want things to change, but there are blocks in the road. It doesn't suit every party to see things through.

"There is a lack of coaches and there has always been too much emphasis on the commercial side.

"Sir Trevor Brooking is one of the few football people at the FA, but hasn't always won the argument because of commercial considerations, and he probably didn't win all the arguments when I was there either."

Brian Barwick (left) and England boss Fabio Capello
Barwick (left) appointed Capello in December 2007

Barwick also reacted to Fifa president Sepp Blatter's apparent U-turn about goal-line technology following the Frank Lampard fiasco against Germany.

"I absolutely believe in using the technology. I used to be at the international board meetings where decisions were made," stated Barwick.

"I was always an advocate because I saw every other sport taking it up and couldn't believe football was ignoring it.

"Football was taking billions of dollars out of the game in paying for broadcasting rights, but was not prepared to recognise that television and television technology could solve one of the big issues in the game.

"It's objective. Did it cross the line or not? I kept being told that it would take time to sort out on the field and it would hold up play, but that's nonsense.

"Two companies came up with two different options: a multi-camera strategy, like Hawkeye at Wimbledon, and technology using a chip in the ball.

"When the ball crosses the line, a beam would go to the referee's watch and instantly tell him if the ball had crossed the line or not.

"It works 100% of the time. It was instant and only beamed to the ref. It passed the test on every issue."

Barwick, who left the FA at the end of 2008, added: "If you take it at face value, the game is about human beings and that human fallibility is part and parcel of the game. That's what [Michel] Platini [Uefa president] and Blatter have said. And I buy that.

"But when you get a game in the last 16 of the World Cup and England could be 2-2 going into half-time, who knows what would have happened?

"I'm not suggesting Germany wouldn't have won it, but you can't say where that game would have gone. If the eyesight of the officials isn't good enough, then they need help of technology.

"Hundreds of millions of people knew Frank Lampard had scored a legitimate goal. The four guys in the middle didn't. It needs people to swallow a bit of pride. That was a terrible error of judgment on Sunday."



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see also
Wilkinson fears for England team
29 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
FA waits to make Capello decision
28 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Pressure on FA after England exit
28 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
England were not prepared - Lahm
28 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Capello named new England manager
14 Dec 07 |  Internationals


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