Premier League chief apologises for outburst

Premier League chairman Sir Dave Richards has apologised for remarks made at a Qatar conference, where he suggested Fifa and Uefa had ‘stole’ football from the English.

Richards made the comments at a conference in Doha, and also suggested that fans would boycott the 2022 World Cup should alcohol rules not be relaxed in the Middle Eastern country.

However, the chief feels that his comments were taken out of context, as he intended them to be light-hearted.

“Further to the comments I made earlier today at a conference in Doha, I would like to apologise for any offence caused,” the statement, published on Sky Sports, reads.

“It is important to clarify that I was expressing my personal views and not those of any organisation I represent.

“My comments on the heritage of the game were intended to be light-hearted. They clearly have not come across in that way and I sincerely regret making them and any resulting negativity that may have been interpreted towards FIFA and UEFA. I will be writing to both organisations in these terms,” he confirmed.

It was a bad day for Richards, who also fell into a water fountain after tripping over a low ledge and had to be taken to hospital, but was later released.

By Gareth McKnight