England to abstain from FIFA presidential vote

Sepp Blatter 1 (Reuters)

The England-FIFA drama continues.

The English FA said Thursday it will abstain from casting a ballot in this summer's FIFA presidential campaign in a protest against candidates Sepp Blatter and Mohamed bin Hammam. FA chairman David Bernstein said the decision to not support either candidate was made due to recent and current issues involving FIFA.

The FA's decision was likely influenced by new corruption claims were made last week against the FIFA executive committee and Qatar over the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

What do you think of this development? Think more countries should/will follow in the footsteps of England's FA?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in BREAKING NEWS, International Soccer. Bookmark the permalink.

52 Responses to England to abstain from FIFA presidential vote

  1. Fred says:

    Grant Wahl, get back in the running! You never should have dropped out!

  2. Matt C in Tampa says:

    Good for England. It will be a long slog before things change at FIFA…and that change is only going to come when big, rich and powerful countries stop putting up with this BS.

    My brother-in-law, a Gator fan and college football fan was complaining about how the NCAA is corrupt and had the market cornered. I laughed and pointed out that compared to FIFA, the NCAA is merely the bully that steals the candy out of your lunch.

  3. JFC says:


  4. Here’s hoping that the US has the balls that England has. Where are the wikileaks people when you need them?

  5. supergrandefilms says:


    It’s time for the Old Boy’s club to be dismantled.

  6. fischy says:

    I guess the interesting question is whether the rules could make this more than symbolic. Does Blatter need just a majority of votes, or does he need to get a majority of all members? Not that it’s really conceivable that England could get a number of other countries to join them — but maybe some Commonwealth allied would, if this became as serious effort to do something.

  7. JoeW says:

    First, I commend England’s action. I hope the US follows suit (though I expect Jack Warner to then retaliate).

    Second, England and the US and maybe a few other countries ain’t going to result in a change folks. What Blatter has been superb at is getting support of minnows. Countries like Cameroon (or even smaller football countries–like most of Concacaf), their FA’s are more corrupt than FIFA (as hard as it is to believe). Blatter has catered to those FA’s and their heads. So with “one FA, one vote” rules, that means a dozen Concacaf votes from T&T, Bahamas, Grenada, etc. will more than outvote the US and England and say…France and Germany. And then Blatter and Co. would reward that support by pushing events (like Club Cup Championships and U17 and U20 WC’s) to those countries. It would have to take someone like UEFA to say “we’re not participating in the WC” to provoke a significant change.

  8. Matt C in Tampa says:

    I agree abstaining from this vote may not mean much…but to me, it’s the first logical step.

    The next step is wrestling control of CONCACF away from Warner. Take down the small crooks first.

    The other next step is for UEFA to step forward and have some balls …as a group. Group balls.

    I’m certain FIFA and find ways to punish our actions for not playing along….but it’s not as if they can take the 2014, 18 or 2022 WCs away from us or England. And we need to start rooting out, as best we can, the curruption now…b/4 the next votes….

  9. CH says:

    First of all i know this wont be popular but Screw England they sound like a spoiled child that didnt get what they wanted.Reports show they knew how corrupt fifa was years ago but didnt care or say anything til they lost the vote. They should have exposed Russia way b4 the vote the only thing they said was bout the collusion between the refs and the spain national team.Like fifa i laugh at England threats of leaving fifa. Who will they play them prem may be big but the world cup is bigger. And when the fans miss 2 WC’s and Euros the fans will be so pissed theyll eventually call for heads.

    Second stop saying the U.S will join England unlike England the U.S actually likes Warner and Fifa (guaranteed world cup spot+ money and exposure to us soccer).

    Im prepared for the backlash i will receive now.

  10. CQ says:

    Maybe UEFA could hold an International Tourney to compete with the World Cup.

  11. Kev says:

    No offence bro but you speak like the game of soccer belongs to the U.S and England. Its called the worlds game for a reason. Sure we had the best bid and Qutar had the worst but Australia Spain and the others deserve a too.

  12. cj says:

    Nobody likes Jack Warner. Check out his wiki page for list of corruption charges and asanine quotes.

  13. PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo says:

    How is ‘abstaining’ showing balls? WITHDRAWING…now that is showing balls!

    (no puns intended)

  14. Kev says:

    True Nobody really likes Warner but like any corrupt leader you like the money and benefits that you get being aligned with him.

  15. CH says:

    Thats what i was trying to say worded it poorly tho.

  16. CH says:

    Thats what i was trying to say worded it poorly tho.

  17. PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo says:

    ‘Bids’ should be won on merit, not graft. If it isn’t a ‘bid’, then why go through the trouble? Why not just state the obvious, this is bid won by whomever can bribe the chosen few. There are many reasons that underdeveloped countries stay underdeveloped and FIFA is a great incubator and example of one of the biggest of those reasons with its lack of transparency and lack of legitamacy.

    Time for a new Federacion of countries willing to live within rules and transparency.

  18. Shane says:

    CH, I imagine England didnt take a stand against the corruption before because they knew it was futile. As others have pointed out, and as Grant Wahl explained, one or two nations can do nothing to fight the corruption because Blatter has all the small poor nations in his pocket. England decided to play ball with FIFA as best they could without being corrupt themselves and they got nothing for it. So as I see it, they’ve decided they might as well take a stand. I think it’s good.

    Also dont know why you say the US likes Warner. Warner said all of CONCACAF will vote as a block and then Gulati came out and so the US will not vote as CONCACAF says. That was reported just a few days ago. The US has taken a stand just as England has if you ask me. It is just that CONCACAF/Warner is a bigger priority for us than FIFA. I do hope we choose to abstain also.

    The annoying thing about England is that they could have nominated someone else to run for president. That was where their power was, not one silly presidential vote.

  19. Oranje Mike says:

    Keep telling yourself that, buddy. Have fun in la la land. FIFA is beyond corrupt. Better late than never to take a stand.

  20. brian says:

    Villarreal’s Giuseppe Rossi has close encounter with bull

    link to guardian.co.uk

  21. Judging Amy says:

    Nobody’s hands are clean in this disaster. You’re probably absolutely right that England (as well as many other countries) should have come forward a long time ago, before FIFA’s corruption became so blatant and obvious they basically dropped any pretense of hiding it.

    But now that the fact of FIFA’s corruption is established and every other country besides England is basically expressly complicit, you are really going to bash them for being hypocrites? Practically speaking, isn’t their action an advance (even if it is motivated by self-interest)?

    The results of the WC bid aren’t what bothered me (of course as a US fan I was disappointed). The crime is in the corrupt process. Criticism of what FIFA nations could and should have done in the past aside, you either support this corrupt system or you fight it. You either want the corruption to die so we can have a just process, or you are complicit.

  22. CH says:

    Im NOT saying that that fifa isnt corrupt its IS corrupt that is obvious. But to make it seem like England is some kind of hero is absurd. They knew about warners tactics for years and the 1st thing they did was go play T&T for a friendly so they could get his vote.If you dont believe me go read their newspapers after the 2008 friendly it was basically we gave him all that money for the friendly rights, we went to play waste of time T&T so we got their vote. That is a bribe tho a minor 1. England would have been a hero if they did this either b4 the vote or in a vote that they werent involved in. Trust me they wouldnt have cared if they won.

  23. Free says:

    england should have given him a meeting and nomination when he was in the running…

  24. ML says:

    Who cares what England does. They can go ahead and skip the World Cup as well. It’s not like they bring anything to the game besides a bunch of over-hyped prima donnas going home after the first round.
    They will not be missed.

  25. Matt C in Tampa says:

    Kev, I take no offense. I didn’t feel like writing a long….long post. I do no mean to suggest that by the US, England ..etc… stepping forward and doing something that they should take over or take control….or that we should do away with one=country-one vote.

    Rather, my point is that the countries that have some clot and not as much to lose, need to take up SOME kind of leadership role, even if that initial role is putting your foot down and saying you’re not going to take it anymore. The US, England and UEFA countries have arsenal to do that. Cameroon, South Korea and Columbia do not.

  26. CH says:

    This is a boss comment. Fair, honest i agree with your last comment as well.

  27. Free says:

    “The annoying thing about England is that they could have nominated someone else to run for president. That was where their power was, not one silly presidential vote.”


  28. vik says:


  29. Neruda says:

    Still ticked about the US losing their bid to Qatar!? Everyone knows Qatar bought it and that Sepp would rather line his pockets more than do what’s better for world football.

    If a few more key federations did what England is doing it might result in something. Well, probably not, it is FIFA after all.

  30. jb says:

    Good and fair point. However, if you follow the logic through to the end to fight the system it would mean boycotting the world cup and all other fifa sanctioned tourneys. Is the US or England prepared to do this? Could enough countries be convinced to do the same? Besides the loss to the fans there would be big financial losses too. Seems a tough mountain to climb.

  31. NF says:

    I normally don’t go along with the crowd that says they don’t vote because none of the candidates are good. However, Blatter’s recent boasting about how the majority of the world supports him makes me think abstaining is the correct choice here. I hope the US and other countries do the same to send a message.

  32. Ian says:

    Good for England. Sunil Gulati just recently said the US will not be voting with CONCOCAF, so maybe he’s planning to go the England route too.

  33. DaveInSLO says:

    I don’t blame England for not casting a vote. Who would you vote for? Blatter is a joke and after that completely corrupt World Cup bidding process there would be no way in hell I would patronize Qatar by advocating for a Qatari to be FIFA president. I agree that they should have nominated a third candidate. The fact that they did not was cowardly.

  34. Ron says:

    I think that the US, Mexican, England, Germany, Portuguese and Spain football associations break away from FIFA and start a new federation that will have accountablility and transparency. Blatter, Warner and Mammam are so corrupt and ruining a sport they probably never played!

  35. JCC says:

    Meh. This won’t change anything. Symbolism is nice and all, but in the end corruption always wins. Even if you were to overhaul everyone in FIFA now, you’d just be bringing in a new group of guys with their own corrupt practices. In the end, corruption is relative.

    In some western countries, bribery is seen as the ultimate and most disgusting form of corruption. Most other countries, not so much. It’s just seen as a way to get a leg up. Unless FIFA is involved with human trafficking, terrorism, or the drug trade, nothing will happen or change all that much. Taking bribes sometimes is necessary, everybody does it at some level.

  36. Eurosnob says:

    If England had balls, they would have nominated someone to challenge the two candidates that England detests.

  37. Shark says:

    The USA has already told CONCACAF they will NOT vote in lockstep with them after Warner made the statement that all CONCACAF countries would vote as a block. So we are not playing the Warner/Blatter game either.

    Good for England…being half-English myself i applaud them for having the guts to do so.

    You have to start somewhere. Now we need to force Warner out. It can be done.

  38. frank says:

    if France, England, Germany, Italy and Spain plus the US, Argentina, Japan, Brazil and South Korea (either major federations on the field or countries that pay the FIFA bills) pulled out of FIFA and started their own tournament the whole house of cards comes tumbling down…

  39. Eurosnob says:

    Dude, don’t assume that UEFA will step up as a group to challege FIFA. Do you really think that Russia will attack FIFA after getting the world cup? Do you think that Spain and Portugal, which exchanged votes with Qatar, will support stripping the sheiks of their WC?

  40. Eurosnob says:

    Free, I could not have said it better myself.

  41. fischy says:

    Vanna, can I buy some punctuation?

  42. fischy says:

    Well — there’s no chance of that happening.

  43. Eurosnob says:

    If England really wanted to take a stand against corruption they should have nominated someone to challenge Blatter and Bin Hammam. Abstaining from the vote is lame.

  44. b says:

    Good for England- USA should abstain as well!!

  45. MIke says:

    While I don’t disagree that Warner is a corrupt a-hole, I don’t see how you’re possibly going to force him out, especially in light of the fact that no one even ran against him in the recent CONCACAF elections. I mean, he may be incredibly corrupt and have even gone against promoting his own federation’s interest in the 2022 WC vote, but what incentive do the Caribbean nations have to push him out? The reality is that he has increased their revenues, arguably at the expense of the larger federation nations, though even the US has benefitted by continually having the Gold Cup on its home soil (some might say even an unfair advantage). The problem is that so long as each of those small countries have an equal vote, Warner will have a hold on his position.

  46. John says:

    All the suits in charge of soccer are horrible. Some more than others. A very few are true purist and incorruptible like Platini, Beckenbauer, and the Japanese FIFA members. Just look at our own FA run by Sunil Gulati and our league by Garber. Not to mention that clown Chuck Blazer is VP of Concacaf.

  47. “You either want the corruption to die so we can have a just process, or you are complicit.”

    The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. (can’t remember who said that), at lest no voting is a start

  48. plug713 says:

    Rather than simply abstaining from the vote, I would like to see the English FA begin to lobby other members of UEFA to put forward Michel Platini as a candidate for President of FIFA. If UEFA took the lead, I don’t have any doubt that CONMEBAL could be pursuaded to support the effort. With the two most prestigious associations in the world aligned in supporting him, I’m sure Platini would win election. He has long been a vocal critic of FIFA, has impeccable credentials, and would surely begin a badly needed reformation of this thouroughly corrupt body.

  49. Tommy says:

    England stands up to FIFA.
    USSF stands up to Jack Warner.
    I think the US should show solidarity with England and abstain.

  50. AdamFromMich says:

    +1. England wimped out. The FIFA presidential candidates won’t care if they abstain. And the executive committee won’t care either. Nominating someone else might have made a difference, but this won’t.

  51. Daniel says:

    Even if an alternative candidate would have been destroyed, it would have been nice to see some decent candidates step up and challenge these dirt bags. CONCACAF and FIFA should strive for something better.