Sir Dave Richards accuses Fifa and Uefa of 'stealing football' from England... and then falls into a swimming pool

The Football Association board member also challenged organisers of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to relax laws regarding the availablity of alcohol to attract visitors
Premier League chairman Sir Dave Richards accused Fifa and Uefa of 'stealing football' from England at a conference in Qatar - before falling into a swimming pool.

Richards, who is on the board of the Football Association, also criticised organisers responsible for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar for failing to address the availability of alcohol at the event.

After his rant, Richards fell into a hotel swimming pool on his way to dinner before being helped out by Bolton Wanderers chairman Phil Gartside.

"England gave the world football. It gave the best legacy anyone could give. We gave them the game," said Richards.

"For 50 years, we owned the game. We were the governance of the game. We wrote the rules, designed the pitches and everything else.

"Then, 50 years later, some guy came along and said: 'You're liars,' and they actually stole it. It was called Fifa. Fifty years later, another gang came along called Uefa and stole a bit more."

Fifa vice president Prince Ali Bin Hussein of Jordan challenged Richards' views, suggesting that the game had originated in China.

“It started in Sheffield 150 years ago," said Richards in response.

"We started the game and wrote the rules and took it the world. The Chinese may say they own it but the British own it and we gave it to the rest of the world.”

Regarding the issue of alcohol availability in Qatar in 2022, which may be restricted due to Islamic laws, Richards has urged organisers to relax sales in order to accommodate fans from around the world.

"It is our culture as much as your culture [in Qatar] is not drinking. There has to be a happy medium," he said.

"In our country and in Germany, we have a culture. We call it, 'We would like to go for a pint', and that pint is a pint of beer.

"If you don't do something about it, you are starting to bury your head in the sand a little bit because it needs addressing.

"You might be better off saying don't come. But a World Cup without England, Germany, the Dutch, Danes and Scandinavians. It's unthinkable."

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