The FA's Chief Executive Mark Palios says that, after one of The FA's toughest w
The FA's Chief Executive Mark Palios says that, after one of The FA's toughest weeks, it is 'now time to move on'...
Speaking in a letter circulated to FA staff here at Soho Square, Palios said:
"It was good to see football emerging as the main talking point of the weekend. Sven, his coaches, the players and all of The FA's support staff deserve our congratulations for a magnificent performance in an intense Istanbul atmosphere, while England's fans played their part in our success by heeding warnings and staying at home.
"Some people have questioned whether we have at any point stepped outside our due process for disciplinary decisions. I can confirm that we have not. Our decision to exclude Rio was a policy decision in our role representing 'England team' affairs and was not part of the formal disciplinary process.
"It's also very important to note that at no time did we breach confidentiality. The FA's statement on the matter came many hours after Rio Ferdinand was named in public comments from both Manchester United, the PFA and, it would appear, from numerous other sources. To the best of my knowledge this organisation did not leak any confidential information."
Palios also revealed that he intends to use the experience of the last week as constructively as possible.
"The events of the past week have become one of the highest profile issues in The FA's history and we need to ensure that we learn from this experience too, I have initiated a full review," he explained.
"In the meantime, I will of course be meeting with Manchester United and the PFA to ensure these important footballing relationships move forward in the most positive way. The crux of this matter is not about disagreements between major footballing bodies, it concerns the importance of The FA's anti-doping programme and The FA's right to govern the game with integrity. And despite huge public and media pressure neither of these points were negotiable.
"It is of course now time to move on. Let's hope that Saturday night's result focuses everyone back on the positive aspects of the English game.
"England's qualification for Euro 2004 is great news for the team, The FA and for the whole of English football."