Gordon Sharrock: Beware FIFA backlash over poppy scandal

First published in Sport

HAVING taken Gordon Taylor to task a couple of weeks ago for, among other things, effectively forcing Manchester City to halve the one-month ban they had imposed on Carlos Tevez, it is only fitting to applaud the players’ union chief for giving the errant Argentinian the hard word, warning him that he could face the sack if he doesn’t start behaving himself.

And after venting my anger on FIFA over the poppy ban issue, I feel they, too, deserve praise for striking a sensible compromise with the FA.

But while I am sure Taylor will continue to work with the good grace and – apart from trying to put footballers on a par with Brad Pitt in the entertainment stakes – his usual common sense approach that has contributed so much to the game, I fear we could face a backlash from the world governing body after it was effectively shamed into a public climbdown.

As Lord Mawhinney, the honorary president of the Football League, said at the height of the poppygate scandal: “FIFA don’t like England and our relationship with them over the past couple of years has been very bad.”

They will like us even less now and and I wouldn’t put it past them to get their own back by influencing their UEFA pals when they hear Wayne Rooney’s appeal against his three-match ban on December 9.

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