England isolated at Fifa congress

England's Football Association was the subject of stinging criticism here Wednesday after suffering a crushing defeat in its bid to halt the re-election of Fifa president Sepp Blatter.

England FA chairman David Bernstein had taken the floor at the 61st Fifa congress to table a motion calling for the postponement of the presidential election due to take place later Wednesday.

"A lot of people have warned me I shouldn't be making this speech but Fifa is a democratic organisation," Bernstein said.

"We are faced with an unsatisfactory situation. We are subject to universal criticism from governments, sponsors, media and the wider world.

"With this background the election has turned into one-horse race ... a coronation without an opponent provides a flawed mandate."

But England's attempts to take a stand fell flat, with voters dismissing the motion by 172 votes to 17.

Adding insult to injury, Fifa's senior vice-president Julio Grondona from Argentina then unleashed a blistering attack on England.

"We always have attacks from England which are mostly lies with the support of journalism which is more busy lying than telling the truth. This upsets and disturbs the Fifa family," Grondona said.

"To present such a project as David Bernstein presented is like shooting a penalty because it cannot be always from the same place that the insults and problems come from.

"I see it at every Congress. They have specific privileges with four countries having one vice-president. I don't know what our president has said.

"But we have seen the World Cup go around the world, to South America and Africa and it looks like this country does not like it.

"It looks like England is always complaining so please I say will you leave the Fifa family alone, and when you speak, speak with truth."

In remarks to German media, Grondona said he had voted against England's 2018 World Cup bid because of Britain's rule in the Falkland Islands, which triggered a 1982 war between Argentina and Britain.

Bizarrely, Grondona also said he had voted for Qatar's 2022 World Cup bid rather than the USA because "a vote for the US would be like a vote for England. And that is not possible."

"With the English bid I said: Let us be brief. If you give back the Falkland Islands, which belong to us, you will get my vote. They then became sad and left," Grondona is reported to have said.

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