So now we know. Rather than host the world’s greatest sporting tournament in a country with excellent stadia in place, first class training facilities, a complete transport/travel infrastructure, passionate fans, plenty of hotels, masses of entertainment on hand to suit every taste and a free press, FIFA would prefer to ignore the advice of their own technical and commercial advisors and gift the event to a mafia state and a baking desert territory where absolutely no football infrastructure exists. Oh but they are both awash with money and FIFA and its executive are headquartered in Switzerland which hosts the most discreet personal banking system in the world. Surely a coincidence?
The whole Bid process is such a sham. I think we should applaud the BBC and the Sunday Times, rather than apologise for them as Andy Anson the Bid leader did, for exposing FIFA’s shadowy processes. And now I hope our media go hunting for that snake-oil salesman Blatter and his cohorts. English football (and it is not alone) has been humiliated and I’m very much of the view that Sir Geoff Thompson of the FA should resign from FIFA – what is the point of him being there? – and we should establish a new organisation with fellow Associations from the USA, Australia and rest of Europe etc who are also angered by FIFA’s apparent duplicity.
The last and next three World Cups have/will be held in Africa, South America, Eastern Europe/Asia and the Middle East. Why? Don’t give me all that nonsense about enlarging the football family. Blatter is using the world’s greatest game to chase money to the ends of the earth. If they found massive oil reserves under the Antarctic tomorrow, the Mad Hatter would already be scheduling the 2026 event there. Even if the only live audience was a troop of Emperor penguins (almost certain to be re-named as the Blatter species for the tournament).
It is quite clear that FIFA has no interest whatsoever in pleasing the most important people in the sport – the ordinary fans – who make this game what it is. The World Cup cannot come back to England, the motherland of the sport in Blatter’s own cynical words, until 2030 at the earliest. I was with my footie-mad young grandson yesterday watching the announcement. I wasn’t much older than him when I was absolutely spell-bound watching England win the World Cup in ’66. He was so looking forward to the prospect of going to the nearby Milton Keynes stadium together with me to watch a World Cup match and now that’s not only not going to happen it may never happen in my lifetime. That thought almost breaks my heart.
We should host a separate new tournament with similar-minded football nations and screw FIFA and its corrupt little band of tin-pot officials and leave them to their ridiculous tournaments in the frozen wastes of the Gobi desert (and its enormous natural gas reserves owned by an oligarch with an ego the size of Blatter’s safety deposit box).
ps and I read today that the head of the England Bid has now ‘borrowed’ my Antarctica line. Oi back off Anson