Mutford-born former FIFA president would have been ‘appalled’ by organisation’s current scandal, says his nephew
PUBLISHED: 07:00 16 June 2015
England’s last Fifa president – Mutford-born Sir Stanley Rous – would be appalled if he knew about the scandal engulfing the organisation that he loved.
That’s the view of his nephew, former Ipswich mayor Roger Fern, as events at Fifa continue to dominate sporting news.
Sir Stanley was President of Fifa between 1961 and 1974, overseeing World Cups in Chile, England, Mexico and West Germany and was forced out of office in at the age of 79.
Mr Fern said the arrests at Fifa last week – followed by the controversial re-election of Sepp Blatter as president of the organisation – would have appalled his uncle.
“He would be spinning in his grave, absolutely,” he said.
“He was always determined to ‘do the right thing’ and I’m sure that any hint of scandal like this would have appalled him.”
Sir Stanley lost power at Fifa partly because he alienated African and Asian countries because he tried to maintain links with football authorities in apartheid South Africa.
However Mr Fern said his uncle was always keen to promote the game anywhere on earth, saying: “He always said countries in Africa and in the Far East would produce very good teams in the future.”
Sir Stanley had no children and the medal he had been awarded for refereeing the 1934 FA Cup Final was eventually presented to Ipswich Town.
It was kept in the club’s archives as a reminder of the first FA Cup Final medal awarded to a Suffolk participant.
In 1944 Sir Stanley had been invited to a service at the Guards’ Chapel in London by club founder Captain Ivan Cobbold, but had to turn it down because he was due to speak to a Rotary Club meeting.
The Chapel was bombed and Capt Cobbold was killed – Sir Stanley would have been sitting next to him.
Mr Fern said: “From that day on he never turned down an invitation to speak to a Rotary Club meeting if there was any way for him to get there!”
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