LABOUR HAS urged David Cameron to hold an emergency summit over Fifa corruption claims to ensure Britain does not “idly stand by”.
Chris Bryant MP, Labour’s shadow culture secretary, wants politicians, the English Football Association, British sponsors and broadcasters to establish a “common position” and give “serious consideration” to withdrawing from all future Fifa competitions.
In the letter to Prime Minister, released to the media, he said Britain “cannot just be commentators or spectators”.
It comes amid calls to boycott the World Cup after under-fire Fifa president Sepp Blatter was re-elected as leader on Friday, despite the arrests of football officials on suspicion of decades of bribe taking.
Earlier the duke of Cambridge waded into the Fifa corruption row by saying world football’s governing body must “show that it can represent the interests of fair play and put the sport first”.
William, who is president of the Football Association (FA), urged sponsors and other backers to press for reform after a week which saw seven Fifa officials arrested and 18 people indicted on corruption charges by the US justice department.
Labour leadership hopeful Andy Burnham said there was ‘a pretty overwhelming case for England taking a stand’ and refusing to participate in the next World Cup.
He said: “I’ve been listening carefully to what the FA have been saying over the last 48 hours and they have talked about a boycott, but they’ve then said but only if others do it with us. Well I think maybe they should just be a bit stronger personally. I think they should say, what I think many people feel, it’s just not acceptable.”
But Grek Dyke, chairman of the Football Association, said boycotting the World Cup alone would be “ridiculous”.
Meanwhile, in Britain the Serious Fraud Office announced it was assessing “material in its possession” relating to the allegations of corruption at the heart of Fifa. Barclays Bank is believed to have launched an internal review.
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