Sheffield Football Club in 1857
Thursday, March 15, 2012
English Premier League chairman Dave Richards was pulling no punches this week when he accused FIFA and UEFA of having stolen football from England.
"England gave the world football. It gave the best legacy anyone could give. We gave them the game. Then, 50 years later, some guy came along and said, 'you're liars', and they actually stole it. It was called FIFA."
Richards also pointed out to a room full of shocked delegates in Qatar that the game of football originated in the English industrial city of Sheffield around 150 years ago: "We started the game and wrote the rules and took it to the world... the British own it and we gave it to the rest of the world."
Richards also suggested that FIFA's decision to take the 2022 World Cup to Qatar had been a fix and England had wasted £20 million on a pointless World Cup bid.
Although Richards has, rather predictably, received much bad press over his honest viewpoints, there are those who agree with his sentiment. A poll for the Daily Telegraph on March 15 had around 75% of its readers backing Richards.
Meanwhile, those who accuse Richards of behaving like a clown will have been delighted by the sight of the Premier League's chief man falling into a Doha pool later the same day.
Watch the first part of Richards' statement here: