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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 30, 2007

FIFA vice-president aims to end Britain's privileges

Britain's privileged position with FIFA is under threat after a new challenge to the four home associations' special rights.

For the last 60 years, the home nations have enjoyed the right to nominate their own FIFA vice-president, and they also have voting rights on the International FA Board, the game's rule-making body.

Now, alerted by the impending retirement of Scottish lawyer David Will after 17 years in the post, another FIFA vice-president Jack Warner has announced his intention to seek an end to the privileges.

Warner said: 'It does not make any sense, it should be abolished because it is a football anachronism.

'If I can get support I will bring it up at the FIFA Congress and I will fight to have it abolished.

'This position should be elected by the UEFA countries. You should not be able to play in the UEFA competitions and then have your own elections outside UEFA.

'You cannot be half-pregnant. Either you are pregnant or not pregnant.'

Will's successor as FIFA vice-president is to be elected on Monday and each home association has put forward their candidate, although it looks certain to come down to a straight contest between FA chairman Geoff Thompson and Irish FA president Jim Boyce.

Warner said whoever wins, he would aim for this to be the last four-year FIFA vice-presidency awarded automatically to Britain.

He added: 'Whoever gets elected now can of course stay in the post and serve for four years but after that the situation must change because it is not right.

'It has nothing to do with any individual personalities. It's the reality of the situation.'

Warner is from Trinidad and Tobago and is the president of the CONCACAF federation - countries from north and central America and the Caribbean.

He is an ally of FIFA president Sepp Blatter's but his last attempt to change the FIFA statutes three years ago failed. His campaign never reached Congress because Will asked the FIFA executive committee to vote on the issue.

Warner's proposal was defeated by 20 to votes to four - only the three CONCACAF representatives plus Ahongalu Fusimalohi from the Oceania confederation were in favour.

Now Will is going however, Warner believes his successor will not have the same relationships with other FIFA top brass as the Scotsman enjoys.

Monday's election also involves Scottish FA president John McBeth and his Welsh counterpart Peter Rees, but neither have the amount of experience within UEFA and FIFA as Thompson and Boyce.

There could be a stalemate however, as each country is allowed to vote for their own candidate and a decisive voting system, such as ordering candidates in order of preference, has yet to be agreed.

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