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Blatter mends FA rift

FIFA president Sepp Blatter says there is no rift between England’s Football Association and the sport’s governing body.

Relations between the two organisations have been at an all-time low since England’s failed World Cup bid ended in accusations of corruption and mistrust.

But speaking at the FA’s brand new national football centre at St. George’s Park on Wednesday, Blatter said he hoped for ‘friendship’ and ‘co-operation’ from both sides.

“Where there are human beings, from time to time relations are not as they should be in a very educated family,” he said.

“When you are able to bring everybody back to the same level, this has been done in the past especially the FIFA president with the FA so we are very happy to participate, if modestly to the creation of St. George’s Park.

“But what is more important for me is to sign memorandum of understanding with the FA. This is good for football, it’s 150 years of the FA, and it’s a much older organisation than FIFA.

“Therefore it is as much out of respect that the FIFA family works with the FA and I think everyone will applaud that this memorandum of understanding will be signed today.”

The 76-year-old also weighed into the coaching situation at Chelsea, which saw Roberto Di Matteo relieved of his duties on Wednesday.

After two wins in eight league and cup games, Roman Abramovich moved swiftly to appoint former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez until the end of the season, making him the ninth Chelsea boss in nine years.

“This is a problem which is linked with the technical bench and the direction of operations and the ownership of football,” Blatter said.

“Unfortunately if you are not successful the first victim isn’t the owner and it isn’t the players, it is the manager.

“It’s not just England where this is the case, in my own country a manager, (Bernard) Challandes has been asked just to leave (Swiss club FC Thun), why? No success.

“No success is not in a contract but this is football, we have to live with that.”

Wed 21 November, 2012
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