Sir Stanley Rous, the 79-year-old Englishman who has been President of F.I.F.A. (the International Federation?
CU Sir Stanley Rous
CU Sir Stanley being interviewed
NEIL MALLARD: "Before the 1978 World Cup competition in the Argentine, many nations will craim that there must be an increased representation, an increase in the number of competing teams. Do you think that this will be possible?"
SIR STANLEY: "Yes. there is a proposal of course to increase the number to 20 or even to 24 and sixteen has been the rule for some years. It is for this forthcoming World Cup in Germany. But there were 16 in the final when no more than 60 countries were in membership of F.I.F.A. Now there are 142 and it is a world competition overall so that it is thought that more than 16 ought to be encouraged to be allowed to compete in the final competition."
NEIL MALLARD: "If the number of countries is increased for '78 where would you see additional countries coming from?"
SIR STANLEY: "I think there would be one from each of the confederations. One more from Africa, Asia, Central America and Europe."
NEIL MALLARD: "In June of this year you come up for re-election as President of F.I.F.A. And I understand you have a schame to take the election system out of the F.I.F.A. Presidency. Would you like to explain this to us?"
SIR STANLEY: "I have decided that if I am re-elected that I shall suggest that rather than have ballot and election that each of the Confederations shall, if they wish by rota, propose a President to act say for four years. That would mean strengthening our secretariat at headquarters perhaps but it would save this embarrassing situation of one man being put up against another. And you see even if I or Mr. Havelange wins by a small majority, it isn't a very pleasant feeling to know that half your members are agin you. And therefore I think if far better if in turn, each confederation Africa, Asia, Central America, Europe, if they wish to put forward a candidate should put him forward. And he should be accepted for a period of four years by the other Confederations."
Initials BB/1856 RS/DW/BB/1900
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Sir Stanley Rous, the 79-year-old Englishman who has been President of F.I.F.A. (the International Federation of Football Associations) since 1961, is proposing that in future the Presidency should rotate between nominees from Africa, Asia, Central American and Europe -- the four Confederations of F.I.F.A.
Sir Stanley faces a fierce attempt to unseat him at the next F.I.F.A. Congress in June by Joao Havelange, president of the Prazilian Sports Federation. Put he says he will pursue the plan even if he is defeated in the election.
The Brazilian candidate recently claimed the support of the Soviet Union who said that F.I.F.A. was in serious trouble because it was controlled by Britain and the "notorious" Sir Stanley Rous. In an interview with Visnews Sports Editor Neil Mallard Sir Stanley also discussed the possibility that a greater number of national teams will play in the 1978 world Cup finals than the 16 about to compete in Munich.