FIFA vice president Jack Warner has criticised England’s 2018 World Cup bid and insisted the country has no divine right to host the tournament.
Warner hit out against the campaign, saying there was “something wrong” with the bid and England had not yet given the judges “the raison d’etre” to support it.
In an interview with Sky News, Warner said: “If I were an Englishman today, I would not be happy at the progress that has been made to date. I don’t think they have progressed as far as I would have liked.
“You name it, England have it. But yet they haven’t been able to wow the guys who have to vote for them, then there is something wrong.
“England, in the eyes of my colleagues and me, does not have a divine right to host the World Cup.”
He admitted England had so much going for it, including the best League in the world, the best football tradition in the world, the best football stadia in the world, as well as a number of star players, that it is a mystery why they are not clear frontrunners in the race to host the 2018 finals.
“If I had all these things, I am telling you, any country that wanted a World Cup bid would be far, far behind me,” he said. “I don’t know why this is not so in England.”
He said FA chairman Lord Triesman, who is leading the bid, needed to step up and “be more visible”.
Warner added he will meet both Triesman and Premier League chairman Sir David Richards within the next 24 hours and plans to tell them their shortcomings “in broad terms and in an open and candid way”.