David Gill: 'I want to make a contribution to improve FIFA'

Tuesday 24 Mar 2015
David Gill at IFAB last month

David Gill says he will look to ask all the "appropriate and relevant questions" of FIFA after being appointed vice president of the global governing body.

The FA vice chairman was voted in as one of UEFA's members of the FIFA executive committee in Vienna on Tuesday, and cannot wait to get started when his position is inaugurated in May.

Gill, a former chief executive at Manchester United, replaces Northern Ireland's Jim Boyce as the British representative.

He said: "I am clearly very pleased. Having decided to put your hat in the ring to get voted in, this is clearly the outcome you want.

"Firstly I would like to say thanks to Jim Boyce. He has represented the British home nations for the last four years with a great deal of integrity and diligence and I think has done an excellent job. 

"He has had football at his heart and I will try and do the same."

The 57-year-old added: "My main aim is to be a productive and efficient member of the FIFA executive committee. 

"What does that mean? It means working with my colleagues on UEFA, the seven other UEFA representatives [on FIFA's executive committee] and playing a part in how FIFA is taken forward on all areas. Things like governance, transparency and other football issues.

"I will learn and hope to make a contribution as we move forward. I think it is very important as has been said today that we have a very effective and efficient FIFA. 

“You need to ask appropriate and relevant questions -that is what I have done throughout my career”

David Gill 

"I think it is incumbent on all of us on the executive committee to ensure that happens."

This week Greg Dyke said he hoped Gill would become "a member of the awkward squad" in holding FIFA to account – and while the self-effacing son of Berkshire chuckled at the FA Chairman's choice of words, he did not disagree with the sentiment.

"Awkward is an interesting word. I wouldn’t necessarily use that. I think appropriate and relevant. 

"I think it is very important because football deserves a very effective FIFA. The football pyramid has FIFA at the top of it so it needs to understand that. 

"I think you need to ask appropriate and relevant questions. That is what I have done throughout my career and that was before Manchester United, The FA and now UEFA. 

"It is part of doing the job. I try to address the issues, read the papers and make a contribution. I have no interest in going on to a body and just sitting there. I want to make sure that I do contribute."

By James Callow Content manager