FA calm following Burden withdrawal

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The Football Association insisted their search for a new chairman had not been derailed by Roger Burden's dramatic decision to pull out of the race.

Acting chairman Burden withdrew his candidacy for the job on a permanent basis on Friday night after claiming world governing body FIFA could not be trusted in the wake of England's 2018 World Cup bid humiliation.

An FA spokesman told Press Association Sport: "All that has changed is that one candidate has withdrawn their application."

Burden, who would have been one of the favourites for the role, will continue as acting chairman for the time being, and almost certainly until the FA's December 22 board meeting.

That will see a three-man panel headed by Bolton chairman Phil Gartside - who have been conducting the search for Lord Triesman's successor - make their final recommendation to the board.

In informing the FA of his decision to stand aside, Burden wrote in a letter to board members: "I had applied for the position of chairman.

"I recognise that an important part of the role is liaison with FIFA, our global governing body.

"I am not prepared to deal with people whom I cannot trust and I have withdrawn my candidacy."

The FA's unhappiness at Thursday's 2018 decision is also expected to lead to moves to scrap plans for a friendly between England and Thailand in June - the match was organised in an attempt to gain support for the World Cup bid.

England 2018 officials said as many as six of the 22 FIFA executive committee members had promised to vote for England and in the end only one did so apart from Britain's own member, Geoff Thompson.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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