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Boyce ´sad´ for FIFA, Havelange talks up positives

Likely FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce said he is saddened by the controversy surrounding the organisation.

The 67-year-old Northern Irishman will become FIFA vice-president if Wednesday’s presidential election goes ahead, but his appointment will be overshadowed by Sunday’s suspension of Mohamed Bin Hammam and Jack Warner.

FIFA vice-president Warner and AFC presider Bin Hammam – the latter of who was originally to contest the election against current president Sepp Blatter until his withdrawal shortly before his suspension – are alleged to have paid cash to Caribbean Football Union officials in return for them voting for Bin Hammam in the ballot.

Boyce said he hopes the congress is not soured because of the controversy, or the ongoing speculation that the 2018 and 2022 World Cups were awarded to Russia and Qatar in untoward fashion.

“I think the developments of the last few days, as I’ve said, I think they are very sad for football,” Boyce said.

“It’s a great honour I’ve said for me to become the FIFA vice-president, hopefully from tomorrow, and I can assure people that I will work for the good of football.”

“Football is a game that brings everyone together and people must be whiter than white.”

“And obviously, every decent person, is alarmed by these developments. They’ve yet to be proven and if they are proven, then that action will be taken against the individuals concerned.”

Boyce, life president of the Irish Football Association, said he was dismayed that the English and Scottish football associations had urged FIFA to delay the election. The English FA had already announced its intention to abstain from voting in the election.

“My reaction was like everything else at the moment – you never know what is going to happen within the next five or 10 minutes,” Boyce said.

“And things keep changing from time-to-time, so I’ve just got to speak with the associations to find out what is happening.”

“But as I’ve said before, I only take up my position as vice-president of FIFA after the election tomorrow takes place.”

Meanwhile, former FIFA president Joao Havelange – in the position from 1974 to 1998 – believes people are focusing too much on the negatives surrounding the body rather than the good work it does.

“You are talking about suffering, but I am going to talk about happiness,” Havelange said.

“FIFA has 208 countries affiliated and they look after all of them.”

“The competitions are taking place as usual. There has been a development in world football in every way; technically, financially and in disciplinary matters. Everyone looks for mistakes because they all want to sit in that chair.”

Tue 31 May, 2011
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