FA Launches 150th Anniversary Celebrations, Pays No Appearance Fees To Guests
FA Chair David Bernstein said the organization will remain at the heart of the game in years to come despite "occasional frustrations" such as World Cup bid failures, according to the PA. Bernstein, speaking at the launch of the FA's 150th anniversary celebrations at London's Connaught Rooms, "also stressed the body's commitment to equality after a year of controversy centred around the John Terry racism case." Bernstein said: "One hundred and fifty years ago a group of people met on this site, and they changed the world by producing the first laws of the game. Throughout that extraordinary journey the FA continued to sit at its heart." England Manager Roy Hodgson, at the launch alongside four previous England managers, told those at the event that '13 would be "vitally important" to give the national team the chance to compete for the World Cup in Brazil next year. Hodgson said: "The first thing we have to do is qualify for the World Cup, that's vitally important. And when we qualify we have to give a good account of ourselves in Brazil, and once you are there you have a chance of winning it, who knows?" The "star-studded launch featured the 1966 World Cup winners" Bobby Charlton, Martin Peters and George Cohen, with video messages from the FA President Prince William, England's most-capped outfield player David Beckham and the most-capped player Peter Shilton (PA, 1/16).
HONORING ROBSON: In London, George Caulkin reported the FA is to hold a National Football Day in Bobby Robson's name on Aug. 10 as part of its 150th anniversary celebrations. The governing body is "to highlight the life and work of the former England manager," who died in '09, "as well as his charitable Foundation’s ongoing fundraising in the anti-cancer field, with a series of events based around grassroots football." The Sir Bobby Robson National Football Day "will involve 150 clubs and leagues across the country" (LONDON TIMES, 1/15).
ONLY THE BEST: The London DAILY MAIL wrote the FA has "managed to attract the great and the good from world football" to the start of its 150th anniversary celebrations without "paying anyone appearance money." All the names jetting in from around the globe, including the hugely remunerated former England Managers Fabio Capello and Sven Göran Eriksson, "are only having their travelling and accommodation expenses met." Even Pele, who will be guest of honor next month at England’s friendly with Brazil at Wembley and the inaugural England awards at St. George’s Park and "is well known for his considerable commercial demands, is not receiving a fee for helping to promote the landmark year" (DAILY MAIL, 1/16).