Premier League - Richards apologises for rant

Thu, 15 Mar 13:07:00 2012

Premier League chairman Sir Dave Richards has apologised for his outburst at FIFA and UEFA on Wednesday.

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Richards courted controversy when, at a conference in Qatar, he accused the governing bodies of "stealing football" from the English inventors of the game.

Both the Premier League and the Football Association quickly distanced themselves from the comments made by Richards, who further urged Qatar to sell alcoholic drinks during the 2022 World Cup.

However, after also slipping into a shallow pool at a post-conference function on an embarrassing afternoon, Richards apologised for his comments on Thursday.

"First of all, I'd like to clarify something," Richards told Sky Sports News. "I'm a Yorkshireman and I'm quite broad. If I say something, it can be taken a little out of context.

"I was asked about the heritage of the game. I would never want to offend FIFA or UEFA. What I actually said, I used a word which, looking back, is probably inappropriate. But it is the way I am.

"I put a statement out last night and I have also sent a private email to the president of FIFA and the president of UEFA, saying I apologise, because I never intended to cause any stir at all.

"We were talking about heritage and legacy, and England has given a wonderful legacy to the total world on the game. It gave them the game and I am terrifically proud of that.

"But I also recognise that UEFA and FIFA have done a magnificent job over the years in changing things, and there has got to be change. I recognise that."


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