FA chief executive Martin Glenn says England ‘perceived as arrogant’ in global football

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MANCHESTER, England — England is perceived as arrogant within the global game and the national team is not admired, the head of the Football Association said on Wednesday.

FA chief executive Martin Glenn believes the fact the organization is called “the FA” — being football’s first governing body — is “the ultimate expression of arrogance.”

Asked if the FA could be rebranded the “English FA,” Glenn responded: “Possibly. But it is not an ultimate priority.”

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England has failed with two World Cup bids since hosting the 1966 World Cup, with the most recent rejection by FIFA’s executive committee coming five years ago in the vote for the 2018 tournament.

“What’s seen to be the case, we get interested in the international game when it suits our purposes … to host a World Cup,” Glenn, who arrived at the FA in May, told the SoccerEx convention.

“It’s a global game. We have to build global alliances. We have to be seen to be a force for good.”

As the country which FIFA acknowledges invented football, Glenn said the impression remains that England is trying to tell the world how to run the game.

“I think we are perceived as arrogant. I don’t think we necessarily are,” Glenn said. “But perceptions … matter.”

The perception of the England team is clearer. The country’s only title came at the 1966 World Cup and it has failed to progress beyond the semifinals of any major tournament since then.

“We are not admired in terms of our international performance,” Glenn said. “That probably counts against us. But we (the FA) are seen to be transparent, professional.”


England has a 100 per cent record European Championship qualifying and has already secured a place at the 2016 finals with two games to go.

Coach Roy Hodgson will not be given a new contract until after the FA assesses the team’s performance at the tournament in France. That is to prevent a repeat of the situation in 2010 when the FA’s options were restricted by giving Fabio Capello a new contract before the World Cup when England went out in the round of 16.

“Roy is very comfortable with the situation,” Glenn said. “What we wanted to avoid was the slightly unsavoury position we had with Fabio Capello at the end of the World Cup, where it clearly didn’t work.”


Rob Harris can be followed at www.twitter.com/RobHarris and www.facebook.com/RobHarrisReports


Rob Harris, The Associated Press

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