London (AFP) – British lawmakers passed a motion of no confidence in the Football Association on Thursday after calls for the government to pass legislation forcing England’s governing body to reform.
Damian Collins from the ruling Conservative party tabled the motion and told the House of Commons in London the government should intervene to shake up the FA because “turkeys won’t vote for Christmas”.
But although members of parliament passed the vote, which is non-binding, sports minister Tracey Crouch said it was “premature”.
Crouch has given the FA until April to overhaul its board and council or risk losing around £30 million ($37.5 million, 34.8 million euros) in funding.
FA chairman Greg Clarke has vowed to step down if the government is not satisfied with his efforts to drive through reform.
In a statement released after Thursday’s debate, which was only attended by around 20 ministers, he said: “I watched the debate and respect the opinions of the MPs.
“As previously stated, we remain committed to reforming governance at the FA to the agreed timescale of the (sports) minister.”
Five former senior FA executives have criticised the organisation for failing to “self-reform”.
David Bernstein, David Davies, Greg Dyke, Alex Horne and David Triesman said the FA was outdated, held back by “elderly white men” and unable to counter the power of the Premier League.
Any direct intervention by the British parliament would be likely to attract the attention of world governing body FIFA, which forbids national governments from interfering with the governance of the game.