It’s fair to say that England haven’t exactly had the best of times in the World Cup, especially in recent years.
A one-hit wonder in 66′ has been marred by another 50 years of hurt.
We’ve been great in qualifying, battering the titans of San Marino, Andorra and the like, but pretty much useless as soon as we’re in a competition against actual full-time teams.
Usually it’s penalties that become are own undoing, but it turns out that in the next World Cup in Russia in 2018 we could be knocked out before we’ve even qualified for the bloody thing.
According to The Daily Star, leading footballing figures in England are becoming increasingly worried about the possibility that we won’t be able to take part, after government announced plans to reform the FA.
The House of Commons are set to hold a ‘vote of no confidence’ in English football’s governing body- but it could lead to FIFA rules being broken.
With the backing of five former FA chairman, MP’s on the Culture, Media & Sport Committee have driven the move- which claims that the current structure makes ‘it impossible for the organisation to reform itself’.
England are currently topping Group F in the European qualification for the World Cup, but their efforts could be undone if parliament indeed votes to reform the Football Association.
Article 19 of the FIFA statutes states: “Each member association shall manage their affairs independently and without undue influence from third parties.”
Meanwhile Article 14 adds that: “Violations may also lead to sanctions, even if the third-party influence was not the fault of the member association concerned.”
It remains unclear whether next week’s debate would on its own breach the rules or if FIFA would act only if a new law was passed and the FA was forced to change.
Wembley bigwigs insist they plan to unveil a new reform package in April, but it might not be enough to stop the government getting involved.
Only time will tell whether this could really put England’s place at the next World Cup in jeopardy.