England are starting to plan to send a GB women’s football team to the Tokyo Olympics with Phil Neville as manager.
The other home nations confirmed before the FIFA congress in Moscow today that they remain as opposed as ever to fielding a combined team.
But they will not prevent any of their players who wish to be part of the GB squad from being considered for selection.
England plan to send a GB women’s team to the Tokyo Olympics with Phil Neville as manager
However it will be left to England to organise the side, with Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland having confirmed to FIFA that they have no objection. The FA have appointed their women’s head of performance David Faulkner to be the administrative team leader.
Faulkner, a 1988 Olympic hockey gold medallist, spent seven years as performance director of England and GB Hockey. And Neville, the new England women’s manager, is in place to take charge of the side as his predecessor Hope Powell did in Rio in 2016.
Baroness Campbell, FA head of women’s football, fully expects Neville to take the team to Japan in 2020 provided he is still at the FA.
Neville was appointed first team manager of the England Women’s team earlier this year
A number of England’s World Cup squad will have to cope with not getting any game time in Russia.
But manager Gareth Southgate will understand their disappointment, having gone through the same experience in 2002. And one of the FA executives on that Far Eastern trip remembers how well Southgate conducted himself when not in the side.
Meanwhile, preparation for England’s arrival at their base in Repino yesterday included ensuring there are heavy black curtains in all the players’ rooms to help them sleep. High summer at these latitudes means it’s light for nearly 20 hours a day.
Gareth Southgate will understand the disappointment of players who don’t feature, having watched on from the sidelines during the 2002 World Cup
The Video Assistant Referees will be dressed in the same World Cup kit as their on-field colleagues.
FIFA referees chief Pierluigi Collina said: ‘They are referees and they will sweat. They can’t go dressed like a clerk with a jacket and tie.
‘They are doing something that is stressful.’
Collina also confirmed that VAR decisions and the relevant replays will be shown on the big screens to inform the crowd, which didn’t happen with the FA Cup last season.
FIFA referee chief Pierluigi Collina has said VAR officials will dress same as on-field colleagues
FA chairman Greg Clarke intends using time between England matches to visit six countries not involved in the World Cup as he seeks to win friends ahead of a potential bid in 2030. South America — in the shape of Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay — are already on the campaign trail.
Slimy Sepp slinks back
Disgraced former FIFA president Sepp Blatter is sure to be the centre of attention when he arrives in Russia a week on Thursday to watch the World Cup as a guest of the host country. His six-year ban from all football activity does not preclude him from going to games.
Meanwhile, the biggest certainty of current FIFA chief Gianni Infantino’s congress speeches is that he will mention his ‘legends’.
The footballers — including Cafu, Clarence Seedorf, Luis Figo and former Arsenal women’s player Alex Scott — played in his promotional pre-congress football match just to show how Infantino has returned football to FIFA.
Sepp Blatter is set to be the centre of attention when he arrives in Russia as the country’s guest
Rob Udwin, a Middlesex representative on the RFU council and former board member, lives in Chiswick — almost in walking distance of Twickenham.
Yet he is famous among his colleagues for still booking into Twickenham’s Marriott Hotel for England internationals so he can take full advantages of perks including free accommodation, food and limitless booze.
Freeloading like that explains why Udwin’s blazer brigade rejected a motion for their partners to pay for tickets and lunch at last week’s council meeting — yet agreed the redundancy process that will see up to 100 RFU staff lose their jobs.
Author: Nancy Parker
Nancy Parker is a five time Emmy Award winning journalist and seven time Emmy nominee who has spent almost twenty five years covering news in South Louisiana. She has anchored every prime time newscast at WVUE FOX8 during her twenty year tenure in New Orleans.