Local chairman to decide Sven's future

By Derek DavisChief Football WriterDAVID Sheepshanks and Peter Heard are among the 12 FA members who will decide on Sven-Goran Eriksson's future next Thursday.

By Derek Davis

Chief Football Writer

DAVID Sheepshanks and Peter Heard are among the 12 FA members who will decide on Sven-Goran Eriksson's future next Thursday.

The Ipswich Town and Colchester United chairmen will meet in London with their main board colleagues to discuss what action should be taken after the PR shambles surrounding Eriksson's affair with secretary Faria Alam at the association's Soho Square offices.

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Sheepshanks has been on holiday for the past fortnight and missed Town's friendlies against Crystal Palace and Newcastle United.

While he was out of the country it was alleged that Eriksson lied about his relationship with Alam, who is also alleged to have had an affair with FA chief executive Mark Palios. A third FA official has now reported to have been involved with Alam.

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Two press conferences to talk about England football scheduled for next week have been cancelled. Peter Taylor was due to meet the press on Tuesday in his role as the new England Under-21 manager and Eriksson was due to be at St James Park on Wednesday to discuss the friendly on August 18 against the Ukraine.

But with the special board meeting arranged for Wednesday it was decided to cancel both given the tidal wave of publicity that has engulfed Eriksson and the FA.

If Eriksson is found to have lied about his relationship with Alam it is possible that he might be charged with gross misconduct and dismissed from his post.

The Swede last night issued a statement denying saying anything on the situation. He is due to meet with Thompson early next week to discuss his involvement in the matter, with FA executive director David Davies - the man reported to have made the call to Eriksson - also flying back from holiday to give his side of the story.

Eriksson said: “”It is my policy never to comment on my private life. This policy has always been fully understood and accepted by my employers, the Football Association.

“However, I have been so distressed by recent inaccurate comment and speculation about my professional integrity that I feel I must now make the following statement:

“With regard to the Football Association's forthcoming enquiry announced on July 27th into 'the circumstances which led to the FA issuing legal statements based on misleading information', I wish to state unequivocally that in keeping with the above policy I have at no time either categorically confirmed or denied any relationship with Ms. Faria Alam.

“Moreover neither I nor my advisors had any prior knowledge whatsoever of the statement authorised by the Football Association on behalf of Ms. Alam on Monday 19th July, nor of the Press Release issued by the Football Association on Saturday 24th July, nor were either myself or my advisors consulted in any way about the contents of either statement.

“I therefore welcome the opportunity to discuss these matters with the Football Association next week, and I look forward thereafter to our qualification campaign for the 2006 FIFA World Cup.”

The FA Main Board also comprises: Geoff Thompson (chairman), Ray Kiddell (vice-chairman), David Dein (vice-chairman), Dave Henson, Phil Gartside, Rupert Lowe, Roger Burden, Dave Richards, Mike Rawding, Peter Hough and Barry Bright.

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