Wednesday 1 February 2023 Dublin: 8°C
John Walton
# ched Evans
FA chairman Greg Dyke says Ched Evans is 'not an important issue'
Fair to say he made a bit of a mess of this.

THE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION chairman Greg Dyke last night stumbled through an interview on the BBC’s Newsnight where he said that the issue of convicted rapist Ched Evans returning to football was “not an important one”.

Dyke, who had been asked onto the programme to discuss FIFA’s report into alleged corruption involving the Russian and  Qatari bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, was asked at the end of his interview whether he thought it was right for Sheffield United to invite Evans back to train with them after his release from prison.

“I don’t really want to talk about Ched Evans. I think it’s a much more complicated story than to have in five minutes here,” said Dyke.

“Here’s the straightforward question: are people who go to prison entitled to come out of prison and to try to rebuild their lives or aren’t they? Or is what they’ve done so bad because they’re in an industry where their image is important? And that’s the dilemma. It’s a dilemma and it’s not clear cut.”

When Dyke was asked by presenter Laura Kuenssberg what his opinion was on the matter he responded by saying it was not an important issue before clumsily correcting himself.

He replied to the question:

It’s not an important issue. It is an important issue but not in terms of what we, we’re here, and what you asked me to come on and talk about.

The former Director-General of the BBC was also asked about the criticisms in the report of England’s bid for the 2018 tournament. The 67-year-old emphasised the point that he was not head of the FA at the time but said “I think that the whole of the way football is operated at the that level is suspect and has been for many years.”

Dyke was also questioned about the limited edition Parmigiani watches worth more than £16,000 which were given as a gift to the 28 officials on FIFA’s ruling executive committee at the World Cup in Brazil but reiterated that he intends to donate it to a breast cancer charity.

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“The watch has been sitting in my office ever since,” he said.

“We’re not here to talk about the watch but we could do. I’ve given it to a breast cancer charity in this country and Fifa are still arguing about whether I can do that.”

Asked if he had actually donated the watch, he added: “That’s what I intend to do.”

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