Friday, 3 December 2010

Is it corruption?

So England has lost out in its bid to host the 2018 World Cup. Fifa president Sepp Blatter described England's final presentation as "excellent and remarkable", but the results suggest that he needs to reassess this description after we won only one non-English vote. Both Russia and Qatar had high risk technical assessments but both beat us and the World Cup will be played in these countries in 2018 and 2022 respectively. In fact everyone beat us even though it seems that we had the best technical and commercial bids.

Let's presume that the English hype is correct. We may have lost because the best bids were not good enough against Russia's (and Qatar's) trump card that they have never played host in uncharted parts of the FIFA world. There is another answer. There may be corruption involved in FIFA as highlighted by The Sunday Times and Panorama. If there is corruption it wouldn't matter whether you had the best bids in the world as the winner could just buy their votes. If the English bid has been affected by the British media exposing corruption then corruption is deeper than previously suggested.

The 22 members of FIFA's executive committee vote in a secret ballot. This makes it a little harder to investigate corruption but let's hope that the next time they vote there is no hint of corruption.

One final thought. Did you see the excited delegates from Qatar when it was announced that they had won? There was one youngster who looked bewildered. He was part of the delegation but he wasn't there on merit. He was there because of privilege. How close is that to corruption?

Change the world (cup)

P.S. The first question on Question Time is whether the BBC's Panorama affected the bid. If it did then FIFA is corrupt. If it didn't then it doesn't matter when Panorama went on air.

As for Ken Livingston's idea that if we were one or two votes away from winning then we could blame the BBC, this is simply ridiculous. If we can blame them for losing one vote we could blame them for losing twenty.

P.P.S. It is now 1pm and we know that Cameroon voted for us. So much for the secret ballot. We also know that votes did disappear because of the British media. If that is the case now is the time for a full investigation of FIFA's alleged corruption. Allowing media reports to influence votes is proof to me of corruption.

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