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Football: FA chairman Dyke sets England 2022 target

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Football Association chairman Greg Dyke set England the target of winning the 2022 World Cup during a wide-ranging speech about the future of the national game in London on Wednesday.

Dyke said England as a country must address the "frightening" lack of English players playing in the Premier League and set a nine-year plan of improvement for the national side.

"Today I want to set the whole of English football two targets," he told journalists.

"The first is to at least reach the semi-finals of Euro 2020. And the second is for us win the World Cup in 2022."

In his first public address since succeeding David Bernstein in July, Dyke said the FA would be "letting the country and thousands of England fans down" if it did not act to give young English players more opportunities to play in the Premier League.

Dyke helped found the Premier League in 1992, but although he claimed that it was now the most successful domestic championship in the world, he said it was also harming the national team.

"English football is a tanker that needs turning," he said.

"Last season, 32 per cent of Premier League players were English. Do we let the trend continue, or do we do something about it?

"What happens when the number goes from 32 to 25 to 20 to 15? Do we still ignore the problem, or do we act now?"

A succession of England coaches and players, such as current assistant coach Gary Neville, have insisted that the most talented English players will always rise to the surface, but Dyke questioned that mindset.

"Gary Neville said the cream will always rise to the top, but I'm not so sure," he said.

Since winning the World Cup on home soil in 1966, England have reached the semi-finals of a major tournament just twice -- at the 1990 World Cup and the 1996 European Championship -- and Dyke said the country's entire football framework needed to come together to look for answers.

He announced that he will set up a commission, including the chairmen of the Premier League, the Football League, the League Managers' Association and the Professional Footballers' Association, to answer three key questions.

"Why has it happened? What can be done? How can you make changes?" he said.

"The FA has to up its game, but all of English football has a problem. All of English football has to find a solution."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130904/football-fa-chairman-dyke-sets-england-2022-target