Canada coach John Herdman says he is focused on World Cup not FIFA’s problems

EDMONTON — John Herdman acknowledges he has tunnel vision right now. And the FIFA corruption scandal isn’t in that line of sight.

“If (FIFA president) Sepp Blatter had been abducted by aliens, I wouldn’t have known. And really wouldn’t have put any attention on it either,” the Canada coach said Friday on the eve of the women’s World Cup. “You control your attention. And the only thing we’re putting our attention on at this point is being the best we can be to represent our country.

“So I’m not interested in FIFA’s image. I’m not interested what this does for the global image of the game. What I’m interested in is this team winning a World Cup, which will change our country. It’ll change sport in our country and it will inspire a new generation of people to play our game — coaches and athletes. And that’s the only purpose we have.”

The world governing body of soccer has been rocked by allegations of corruption from the U.S. Department of Justice and FBI leading to arrests on either side of the Atlantic. President Sepp Blatter has announced plans to step down.

Amidst that backdrop, Herdman said his women realize they are on a world stage at the tournament.

“They’re choosing their words wisely. And I think they’re going to let more of their football doing the talking, though.”

“I second that,” added goalkeeper Erin McLeod.

 

The Canadian Press