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FIFA: For the Benefit of Its Members, To the Detriment of the Game

FIFA President Sepp Blatter arrives before a news conference at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich October 29, 2010. The vote to decide the hosts of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups will go ahead as planned on December 2 in Zurich, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said on Friday, despite the problems that have dogged the process.The bidding process has been hit by a corruption scandal, with allegations of vote-selling by two FIFA executive committee members and collusion by unnamed bidding nations.  REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann (SWITZERLAND - Tags: SPORT SOCCER IMAGES OF THE DAY)

December 2, 2010 may go down as one of the most dubious days in the history of world football. This will be seen as the day FIFA’s Executive Committee members and its president gave a giant middle finger to the traditional football powers in the world as well as those who may feel like shining a light on their shadowy dealings. FIFA awarding the 2018 FIFA World Cup to Russia and the 2022 FIFA World Cup to Qatar was a message sent loud and clear to those that want to open up this secret society to increased scrutiny that the FIFA ExCo members are instead circling the wagons and gearing up to protect their positions within FIFA as the only power brokers in international football.

FIFA’s bidding process for these two World Cups was born out of prior mishandling and miscalculations in the awarding of prior World Cups. More to the point the 2006 process was dogged by corruption and bribe accusations leveled at many bidding nations. Germany came out the winner in spite of the public backing of the South African bid by FIFA President Sepp Blatter and to the genuine surprise of many observers. The 2010 and 2014 process was less of a process and more or less giving the nations of South Africa and Brazil the World Cup in order to represent their continents in Blatter’s failed vision of bringing a World Cup to every continent on a rotating basis. This combination of corruption (2006) and lack of competition (2010-2014) combined with a scheduling crunch that faced South Africa and now Brazil to meet stadium and infrastructure deadlines led FIFA to combine the awarding of 2018 and 2022 at the same event. This solution was seen as a way to give winners time to adequately prepare and reduce corruption. As we have seen with the awards Thursday, corruption is a hard habit to break in the glass halls of FIFA.

Let me preface this article by saying I am not here to lay out specifics of actual bribes offered by the winning nations or am I offering evidence of specific bribes accepted by ExCo members. The perception however has become that the members of the FIFA ExCo are looking out for their own individual interests first when it comes to the awarding of World Cups. Other priorities like leaving a legacy for the host/region of economic and sporting benefits has taken a backseat with the interests of the travelling supporting not even registering on the radar of the ExCo. The awarding today of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups has done little to change this perception. There comes a point when perception begins to solidify as reality and the events of the past week have done little to crack that reality.

The two strongest bids going into the vote Thursday by FIFA’s own reports were England bidding for 2018 and the United States 2022. They had minor to no-needed improvements to stadia or infrastructure according to FIFA’s own reports. In the end England got only 2 votes and lost out in the first round of voting for 2018. The US barely got enough votes in the first round to make the next round of voting for 2022, but made it to the final round only to lose to a nation with only one stadium in place that meets FIFA regulations. It raises the question why bother with these pre-vote FIFA ExCo tours of bid nations’ stadia and infrastructure. What a farcical show they put on touring such hallowed grounds like Old Trafford, Anfield, St. James’ Park or Villa Park. England, Spain/Portugal and the US rated extremely high based on FIFA’s pre-vote standards in terms of risk, meaning the venues and infrastructure are in place already and were likely to create tremendous profit which FIFA claim are their only means of raising revenue which funds all of FIFA’s other projects and ventures globally.

I have the mental image of an ExCo member in the halls of Old Trafford telling Lord Coe, “This is a lovely stadium but how will you transfer my ‘vote fee’ to my Zurich bank account?” In the US, it might have gone, “These stadiums where these hulking padded up American footballers collide are ready to host tomorrow, but can you send my kickback by tomorrow?” Or in Spain, the beaches of Barcelona providing a beautiful backdrop for one of those darlings of the 2006 World Cup, the heralded FanZone, only for an ExCo member to suggest “You know Moscow has beaches I’m sure as well, not to mention leaders willing to keep a lid on the press.”

That speaks volumes to where members of the FIFA ExCo want to take football. The spin from FIFA and Blatter will be that FIFA is leaving a legacy of giving places outside the mainstream a World Cup which may have the power to promote football to an ever wider world. Again makes for a great vision and a noble purpose but reality tells a different tale. The recent World Cup in South Africa proved to be a great event in spite of an avalanche of pessimism. The question remains however, did the 2010 World Cup leave a legacy in South Africa? It is too early to tell but it seems like a safe bet South Africa 2010 did not have a wider impact on Africa as portrayed in the run up. South Africa has multi-million dollar stadiums overlooking slums that lack drinking water and have no electricity. Like I said it is early but as of now, such is the legacy of the 2010 World Cup.

Already we are hearing how this is a benefit for “Eastern Europe” and the “Middle East”.  It is a tactic employed firstly in 2002. Japan and Korea were tabbed as hosts of the first World Cup in Asia. The venues were fantastic and minus a few of the organizational hiccups that co-hosting a World Cup entails, 2002 was great World Cup. Again though, did Asia as a whole benefit? China, a rival to the hosts in all arenas, may have seen a boost but mainly due to their qualifying for the tournament for the first time ever and not because it was taking place a couple of hundred miles to the east. I cannot say with 100% certainty but I am willing to bet football in Malaysia, the Philippines and or Thailand did not explode following 2002 because it was in their neighborhood.

That is what we are hearing already how Russia’s win is a win for Eastern Europe and Qatar’s win is a win for the Middle East.  I would attack that notion with a simple question: How much do the people of Poland, Romania or Latvia relate to Russia and similarly, do the residents of Damascus, Cairo or Baghdad feel like they won anything today because their “brothers” in Doha won the right to host a World Cup based on potential oil money they refuse to share with their “brothers”?

This is not an ethno-centric rant. As a supporter of this sport, my concern is to have the showcase event which only occurs every four years to be in a nation that welcomes supporters around the globe, able to take criticism and has the facilities (stadia and amenities) to best accommodate the visitors without breaking the bank. Qatar is pledging $50 billion to make its 2022 dream a reality. You have to wonder if that money would not be better spent helping its Arab neighbors in Gaza or the West Bank for starters. I do not mean to pick on Qatar, but the statement that its mythical stadiums will be air conditioned only to be torn apart and put back together in a variety of Third World nations post-Cup as a legacy (there’s that word again) puts in right in line with FIFA complete “bollocks”.

When the events that led up to this vote are reported on I will not be surprised when we find buyouts, payoffs and favors traded for votes. This week the BBC investigative program Panorama detailed the payouts to FIFA ExCo members in the past. A program that the backers of the England bid feared because they knew the ExCo would be viewed negatively thereby diminishing their chances of hosting. These payments were nothing new, but the eyeopening portion came when no reprimands or punishment was handed out by FIFA. In fact FIFA seemed unaffected by transgressions of some of their executives. Sepp Blatter is no rush to bring any new faces to the ExCo because it carries out his visions, rubber stamps his policies with no second guessing, For Blatter that is worth looking the other way while the ExCo members wet their beaks in the endless fountain of bribes in the game.

England’s bid team may rue the timing of the Panorama report but it instead should embrace it and others like it going forward. So should any other national association and entity in this game that wants to get rid of the personnel that currently make up FIFA. It is a glass house that is in need of shattering. For someone like Sepp Blatter to consistently bemoan the vast amounts of money in the club game, namely in England, to put a bow on the winning bids and expect the followers of this game to just accept that a country like Qatar deserves the World Cup over Australia, Japan, Korea and America insults the intelligence of football fans with access to real information. I get intangibles make up part of the bid process so here’s one, Qatar has never qualified for a World Cup modern era or any era. Remember when that mattered (1994)?

Blatter and his roundtable of bungs today sent the message to England that we hate you. We not only despise you but we hate you. Two first round votes only. We hate your meddling press and its pesky investigations into our side deals. We hate how you claim “Football is Coming Home” when mentioning the possibility of hosting a World Cup. We hate your club teams and how they buy success. They sent a message to Spain/Portugal. We told you no joint bids… uh yeah that’s it. They sent a message to the Americans today. We are in awe of your stadiums and your ability to make us money but we only want your cash not your input. We want to a country to come in to run the tournament free of government regulation (taxes and travel restrictions). We think we have enough eye balls on TV in America we do not need you to host. They sent a message to Australia, Japan and Korea. You all played by the rules but won’t break your own internal rules to have us in 2022. Continue following the game, you will feel great continental pride in 2026 when someone else hosts.

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  1. bob marley

    December 6, 2010 at 7:57 am

    I personally think that Eastern Europe deserved a chance since they along with Africa produce a majority of the new talent around. In all likelyhood the 2018 WC will be a success without much hiccup. What worries me is the 2022 WC in Qatar. I sincerely hope that Israel qualify for this WC and then it will be a different ball game altogether. All the promises made by the Qatar committee will go out the window if that happens. I am sure that FIFA, Sepp the snake in the grass and most of the Arab world are hoping and praying that it does not happen. Another major concern is the terrorist threat associated with conducting the games in an Islamic country. Pretty soon the threats will be out on consuming alcohol, immoral behavior in the Arab homeland. Good luck FIFA and you snake in the grass.

  2. Vincent

    December 6, 2010 at 12:35 am

    i think the riot during the birmingham and villa game killed england’s chances

  3. Pakapala

    December 5, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    “1% of the US market is twice the size of the entire Qatar market.”

    Surely when one speaks of untapped middle-east market, Qatar is not the only population that comes to mind to you, is it? As for the US market it will be present (TV market) whether the WC is on their soil or not.

  4. Football Souvenirs

    December 5, 2010 at 11:22 am

    If the FIFA panel have decided that they want to expand the game and help to develop the game in lesser nations then it makes sense that England get only 2 votes. I agree with Eastern Europe getting a World Cup, not so sure about Qutar though

  5. pacificStyle

    December 5, 2010 at 3:48 am

    “We can also stop sending out top club teams to the FIFA gang bang in Tokyo every year…” … LOL! That’s Gold.
    I agree, too many meaningless tourneys being played out… as if the clubs didn’t already have their hands full. A co-ordinated coup between at least a couple of powerhouse nations might just do the trick… or at least something close to it.

  6. Tamara

    December 4, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    England should stop complaining about not hosting the world cup and instead try to win the world cup. Winning the world cup means much more than hosting it. Yet, reading the dribble on these boards gives one the impression that it’s all about who hosts the world cup.

    • Pakapala

      December 5, 2010 at 6:55 pm

      English folks have come to the realization that their only chance of winning the WC is by hosting it and taking advantage of the favoritism referee decisions that comes with it (’66). That is why they’re so hell bent on bringing it back home.

    • Dave C

      December 5, 2010 at 8:31 pm

      Well economically speaking, hosting it is more important than winning it.

  7. Jason

    December 4, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    How much did Qatar pay those fifa voters then? This world cup was clearly bought even though the United States was the most qualified nation. Did Qatar give them lavish gifts and vacations along with money? Gosh forget music stars and athletes, if people want the “good life”, they should now dream of being a voter for a future Fifa world cup.

    • Patrick

      December 4, 2010 at 10:26 pm

      Not sure the money really was the factor with Qatar. It was the middle east voting block. The voting block that will now put Sepp back in charge of FIFA.

      When you talk about FIFA, its not only about lining your pockets but retaining the power to be able to do so.

      Sepp represents the block of FIFA that will allow then to continue.

      I think we just have to face it, FIFA is what it is. And there is little that we fans can do besides not buy anything the produce… We can’t vote them out, we can hold a coup… we can just stop watching the World Cup… Can we really do that?

      We can also stop sending out top club teams to the FIFA gang bang in Tokyo every year…
      or hold PL players out of the winter world cup in QATAR.

      that is what it will take.

  8. Sifat

    December 4, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    I have read all these comments and do agree that what happened was definitely unfair to some. But it’s hardly the only unfair thing to have happened. Happens all the time. So, why don’t we just get over it and wait to see what Russia and Qatar does? Personally I’m looking forward to to 2022. I’m sure Qatar will do a great job.
    And also about regional football development, I hope that you will first look at what actually happened and then comment. The 2002 Japan-Korea world cup did give a huge boost to entire eastern, south-eastern and south Asian region (as far as football is concerned. I’m not talking about social or economic aspects.) including Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand for that matter.

    I can’t help adding this- Why do you talk about Qatar paying that huge amount of money on their “Brothers” in West Bank, when the rest of the world pays more than half of their money on buying missiles and gunships and F-22s? So you think only the middle-east should help them and your “first world” shouldn’t?
    Sorry for the political part. Couldn’t stop myself.

  9. marius

    December 4, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    I dont think any country needs to learn ‘bribery’. Its pretty much the oldest diplomatic tool there is.

  10. Terry

    December 4, 2010 at 11:57 am

    Yes, gaffer, these countries have learned from the best when it comes to bribery. What goes around comes around.

  11. patrick

    December 4, 2010 at 11:08 am

    I’m not really bothered that Russia and Qatar won… But what bothers me is the manner in which it transpired.

    All the talk about bungs and money misses the bigger picture. That this vote was about Sepp Blatter retaining his power at FIFA. Chuck Blazer our rep at FIFA spoke openly about it.

    Now don’t get me wrong, I firmly believe money passed hands, but the motivation behind it all wasn’t new markets, or expanding fanbases or any of the hot air out of FIFA. It was all about Sepp.

    There is now talk of the 2022 WC being played in January… How about the top leagues hold their players out…. That would cripple FIFA, and probably be the only way to ever dent its stranglehold on world football. Will never happen will it.

  12. Terry

    December 4, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Yes, gaffer, the non first world nations have learned from the best when it comes to bribery and corruption.

  13. Terry

    December 4, 2010 at 10:04 am

    Yet another crap piece about the WC bidding rights. Get over it you Eurocentric snobs! The world no longer revolves around the so-called first world nations.

    • The Gaffer

      December 4, 2010 at 10:14 am

      Correct Terry. Things have changed. The world now revolves around whoever is willing to put the most money in brown envelopes.

      The Gaffer

      • Pakapala

        December 4, 2010 at 6:08 pm

        “Things have changed. The world now revolves around whoever is willing to put the most money in brown envelopes.”

        No Gaffer,
        It has always been that way whether we’re talking 1966, 1994 (a country with no professional league), 1996, 2012 or 2018. If hosting the WC was about giving it to the country with the best facilities now and maximizing attendance & profits, it would be rotated between England & the USA every 4 years. We all know and always knew that there’s more into hosting a sporting event of this magnitude than that. Always has.
        Now of course to the Western-centric football fan, this would be all fine and they would see nothing wrong with that.

    • marius

      December 4, 2010 at 11:16 am

      I interpret your comment another way Terry. If in fact the balance of power is the world is shifting than FIFA is being irresponsible and not holding the tournament while these facilities are fresh in UK/USA/Spain. I completely agree that England has no divine holding over football but their ‘product’ right now is as good as it gets for their nation so why not reward them?

      When Al-Ahly or Zenit etc. become the most recognizable World brands (and hey they could with a few superstars) maybe FIFA could reward their respective FAs with the tourney. Just basing the decisions on potential is risky for everyone.

  14. David

    December 4, 2010 at 9:51 am

    Sepp Blatter has been angling for a Nobel Peace Prize for years- if that is what it takes to get him to retire, I’d say give it to him next year..

  15. Joe

    December 4, 2010 at 9:51 am

    Hey Travis, why don’t you send a giant check right on over to the Gaza strip, since you’re so gung-ho about telling others what to do with their money?

  16. Liam

    December 4, 2010 at 9:42 am

    @ Gary

    We see the reward for the host nations ruling classes of oligarchs and sheiks, just not the other 99% of the regions peoples and lands.

    Also, “acceptionalism” is not even a real word. Nice alliteration though.

    PacificStyle may have not really said anything at all in his posts, but at least he’s removed the wool from over his eyes.

    • pacificStyle

      December 4, 2010 at 1:57 pm

      Daim dawg! You sound all intelligent and professor-like, in the absence of proper and substantiated counter-arguments, too. Goddamn diggity – now that’s a skill!

  17. Rich

    December 4, 2010 at 9:26 am

    Get over it! I’m English and have lived in England all my life. Now, while all this corruption cr*p I’m sure is very true, I’m glad they’ve given it to Russia. England would have done a decent job hosting it, don’t get me wrong, but all this “Football’s coming home” history rubbish would have made it tragically boring for me. Besides, who said it was England’s right to host the cup anyway!? Give it to a new culture and let’s see what they can do! Hopefully they’ll produce a wonderful and unique World Cup. Further along, Qatar now have a whole 12 years to build new and ground breaking stadia. Don’t tell me they would fall flat in comparison to the USA stadia, considering they’ll be brand spankingly new, and developed with no expenses spared. I would have loved to see the World Cup go to the USA – my first World Cup memories are from 1994 so that would have been great, but now I’m just rather intrigued as to what they can do. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt for now and hope that when 2022 rolls around they’ll have learnt enough about how to do it right.

  18. Badger

    December 4, 2010 at 8:54 am

    Well said Travis.
    Excellent piece.
    Too good for this site in fact.

    • The Gaffer

      December 4, 2010 at 9:23 am

      Badger, it’s quite a bit uncalled for.

      The Gaffer

  19. Gary

    December 4, 2010 at 8:30 am

    If Blatter is on a mission to bring the world’s game to the entire world, not just those of us who reside in ‘traditional’ centers of power and money, then giving the hosting rights to Russia and Qatar is a great success and a welcome rebuke to English entitlement and American acceptionalism.
    You cannot see the reward for the 2 host nations or their respective regions, only the insult dealt to your own nation.
    You’re not guilty of ethnocentrism, just run-of-the-mill eurocentrism.

  20. pacificStyle

    December 4, 2010 at 8:22 am

    sh’d, maybe I should be director of the FA.

  21. pacificStyle

    December 4, 2010 at 8:16 am

    Yo guy, calm down! FIFA is corrupt – You don’t say!! Name one private enterprise “governing body” that don’t look out for its own interests or those of its sponsors, all the while running the usual rhetoric about safeguarding the the entity governed (footy, in this case). Simple laws of supply and demand play here: Sponsors want untapped markets, not saturated markets, so kickbacks naturally find their way to the Executive Committee accordingly from them, not just from the interested countries.
    Is this “morally wrong”? Sure! But it is the way of the world and you know what – The English FA and those who b*tch endlessly about England losing out are being little brats. Yeah the system is corrupt – deal with it! They knew how FIFA always worked, this ain’t nothing new. A more diplomatic approach might have produced better results. All this morally wrong bullsh*t backlash is ironic coming from the English. I ain’t no Brit-hater, guy – sh’d I love the Prem. League. Just saying it like it is. In summation, England lost out, not just to “corrupt FIFA officials” – they’ve always been corrupt, that’s nothing new – but mainly due to the failure of being unable to show FIFA (and its main sponsors) that England is NOT a saturated market.

    Now, let’s see some tact in the future instead of hurtling moron-headed celebrities at FIFA.

    • Smokey Bacon

      December 4, 2010 at 8:41 am

      If the intent all along was to take the world cup to new markets, why even bother with bids from England, Spain/Portugal, Netherlands/Belgium, Japan, Korea and the United States? Why go to the trouble of requesting detailed technical bids about stadiums and infrastructure as these are all “saturated” markets. Nonsense. FIFA wasted everybody’s time to give the impression of a deliberative legitimate process while basically selling the world cup to the highest bidders behind the scenes. That is the only conclusion that can be reached when the two best technical bids (by FIFA’s own process) got only 3 votes.

      Why are the English moaning and why can’t they simply get over it? Its not because we lost, we do that a lot. Its because we feel we have been cheated and humiliated in the process. If we had lost fair and square we’d probably still be whining (we are English after all) but there would not be the sense of injustice. I hope we don’t get over it, keep pushing for the truth and expose what really went down.

      • pacificStyle

        December 4, 2010 at 8:53 am

        I think you answered your own question there: “FIFA wasted everybody’s time to give the impression of a deliberative legitimate process while basically selling the world cup to the highest bidders behind the scenes.” They have to create the impression that this is about footy, don’t they; and that all parties are indeed being given a fair shot, and that the marketers and big companies ain’t the ones calling the shots? Kickbacks, after all, are nothing but bids.

        This way, they keep the whole shebang legit, while pissing off a selective group at any given time.

        Appreciate the discussion though – one of the reasons I love EPL Talk.

        • Patrick

          December 4, 2010 at 10:57 am

          The England bid cost the FA, and local councils £18 million or 28 million dollars. That’s a TON of money that from a country that just increased every tax across the board, reduced services and has students taking to the streets over increased fees.

          While FIFA does live in a bubble, the rest of the world doesn’t… and if I was a local council who forked over money for the bid for stadium, transit and other studies… I’d be looking at ways of getting it back, through the legal system.

          Damned if you do damned if you don’t, so for me you continue to tighten the screws and use the only power you still hold.

      • Pakapala

        December 4, 2010 at 5:29 pm

        You do realize that, regardless of what you or anyone think the intent/mission of FIFA world cup is or who should win, there have and will always be bids that have been “wasted”. This is nothing new. Had England and the US won, the bids of all the others who competed would have been “wasted”. Or is it only considered “wasted” when England lose a bid? When England won Euro 96 hosting, the other bids were “wasted” whatever that mean. When they won the Olympic Games 2012 hosting, the other bids got “wasted”; when they won the WC ’66 hosting again bid got “wasted”. That is what happen, you bid to host the games, and the highest bidder (the one able to secure the most votes) win. Deal with it sour losers!

    • ovalball

      December 4, 2010 at 9:24 am

      Agreed that yelling “corruption” in the same breath as “FIFA” is much akin to Claude Rains’ great line in Casablanca that he is shocked…..shocked that gambling is going on in Rick’s cafe. However, that doesn’t mean anyone has to be happy about it.

      Can’t quite go with your saturated/unsaturated markets theory. If it were that easy then either the U.S. or Oz would have gotten the ’22 bid simply by being sports-mad countries where soccer has plenty of room to grow ($cha-ching$) and the media outlets to carry the message and the game to the fans.

      I’d like to see some better process for selection, but am not smart enough to figure out what that might be. Every idea I come up with has enough holes in it to be certified natural Swiss.

      • pacificStyle

        December 4, 2010 at 1:40 pm

        Bear in mind, while there is plenty of room for footy to grow in the US’s and the Oz’s of the world, the market IS more or less saturated for the and the Nikes and Pepsis and the Hyundais and the Castrols and the Budweisers (lookout Qatar) of the world. They need to advertise in newer places. Do you honestly think that the Russian Footy association alone could “outpay” any of the European Footy Boards to the FIFA Execs? So, if you disagree with my unsaturated/saturated theory you’ll have to completely overlook or disprove the fact that FIFA execs are not Galactic Emperors with mystical imperial authority – they are mere men who make money by working with the biggest money – the sponsors.

        Again, this is why I should run the FA.

        • ovalball

          December 4, 2010 at 2:22 pm

          I don’t believe I said anything about Russia, but to answer your question, “Yes.”

          If the Nikes, etc. of the world thought the U.S./Oz markets were saturated we would be rid of their never ending ads. Do you honestly believe the “sponsors” were pushing Qatar figuring they could make more money there rather than in the U.S., Oz, Japan or Korea?

          I am not incensed by the Qatar bid, only puzzled, but then FIFA often has that effect on me.

          • pacificStyle

            December 4, 2010 at 3:14 pm

            Yes, untapped market = fresh demand. In the developed markets, there’s only the matter of market share and one-upping the competitors… tapping into existing demand. The brand that gets a stranglehold on a developing market reigns supreme.

            I appreciate your points too.

            FA Director then, I shall apply for the job.

          • ovalball

            December 4, 2010 at 3:52 pm

            Well, if they think Qatar represents some gold mine of an untapped market then bless their hearts…..and yours, too. 😉

          • hohoho

            December 5, 2010 at 8:40 pm

            1% of the US market is twice the size of the entire Qatar market.

    • Joe

      December 4, 2010 at 10:00 am

      It’s especially ‘pathetic when England, who once had an imperial stranglehold on the oil in the Middle East, is now whining about how oil won the World Cup for Qatar.

      Understand your own history, tw*ts.

      • Smokey Bacon

        December 4, 2010 at 10:37 am

        Ok, I’ll bite. This has nothing to do with history, oil or any of the other ridiculous crap you have been posting on here since yesterday. This is all about the “process” that awarded these bids. I would have no problem with Russia or Qatar if there was not the strong sense that the bidding process was completely irrelevant in the award of these tournaments. In fact if England had won on Thursday by adopting the same tactics then I would be disgusted with my country.

        This all about fair play, nothing more. If you want to post about politics and history then go find another board to troll on. Its all getting a bite tiresome.

        • King Eric

          December 4, 2010 at 11:22 am

          +1. don’t worry, i’m sure that the bbc and other members of the global press will surely look to expose them for what they really are. they did it w/the entire world watching because they obviously are making the point that they don’t care and can do what they want. they have no governing body to report to other than themselves and no checks/balances in place.

          this entire process was an absolute disgrace to the sport as a whole, because they genuinely lied to the entire world’s faces. if they’re looking to expand into new regions then australia would have been the obvious choice ahead of qatar as they’re much better equipped, having a growing football culture and have proven infrastructure in place.

          i’m not saying that a world cup can’t be held in the middle-east, just that they’re not ready for it now and that there are other deserving nations ahead of them who are steps ahead w/everything already in place. australia is part of asia for fifa’s federation purposes, so in my opinion they’d be the logical choice ahead of the middle east at this point in time.

          • Pakapala

            December 4, 2010 at 5:47 pm

            “i’m not saying that a world cup can’t be held in the middle-east, just that they’re not ready for it now and that there are other deserving nations ahead of them who are steps ahead w/everything already in place.”

            This was a bid for 2022, 11+ years from now. Being ready NOW is irrelevant to the process. And that’s where both the US and Australia fail in their bids by emphasizing that they’re ready NOW that they are going to organize a World Cup ten years down the line with NOW infrastructures and stadia! Say what you may about Qatar or even Japan’s bid for that matter, they were focus on the future they presented a futuristic WC, with things yet to come with new things not the same old.
            Saying you are ready now, may be a sign that you don’t plan to put much effort into wowing the world with a mind-blowing world cup.

        • Joe

          December 4, 2010 at 7:23 pm

          So you’re disgusted by the “process” of awarding bids for a sports tournament, but you’re not disgusted by the “process” by which some nations became industrialized by raping and pillaging other people for centuries? Interesting…

          I’m still waiting for some actual evidence of any wrongdoing by anyone on the Qatar bid team. I guess “innocent until proven guilty” is a “process” that doesn’t matter to you either…

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