Thursday, December 02, 2010

And the World Cup is awarded to....

Well you can make your own mind up as to why England wasn't awarded the 2018 World Cup. Didn't come close even. Despite all the optimism, the big guns of the Prime Minister, Prince William and old Golden Balls himself, David Beckham, we didn't make it past the first cut.

In fact, the whole thing was sewn up (or should that be stitched up?) in the second round of voting with Russia getting the nod.

The England bid team was quietly confident, and arguably so should they have been. A strong technical bid we could have run the competition next week if necessary (well maybe not, but the infrastructure is there, unlike say....Russia).

Commercially it made sense too. Big business in a western society, a multi-cultural society with a fan base that would have lent support to most teams.

FIFA members who had allegedly promised us votes clearly decided for whatever reason to cast their ballot paper elsewhere. Why?

Well, it could be for any number of reasons, but here are a few random thoughts that just popped into my head.
  1. Money changed hands. Just a thought. I have no evidence to back that up.
  2. FIFA is corrupt - just a thought. I have no evidence to back that up.
  3. Sepp Blatter, Head of FIFA told people how to vote. Just a thought. I have no evidence to back that up.
  4. People generally, and Sepp Blatter and Jack Warner particularly, don't like England. Just a thought. I have no evidence to back that up.
  5. THE Panorama programme that outed alleged corruption in FIFA. Just a thought. Not my evidence.
  6. An untimely reminder that hooliganism hasn't been completely eradicated from the British game - take a step forward Birmingham "fans". Easily evidenced.
  7. It was a fair and honest vote. Just a thought. I have no evidence to back that up.
And then, to rub salt into the wounds, Qatar, a middle eastern country whose technical bid was generally reported to the worst of the bunch, is awarded the 2022 World Cup. Oh, and allegedly Qatar is smaller than Wales; public drinking and homosexuality are illegal, and it boasts an average summer temp in the 40s°C. A nice fan friendly place. This is what the Foreign Office website has to say about Qatar:

  • There is an underlying threat from terrorism in Qatar. Attacks, although unlikely, could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers. See the Safety and Security - Terrorism section.
  • You should maintain a high level of security awareness, particularly in public places. You should avoid large gatherings and demonstrations (err, like football matches?).
  • Around 40,000 British tourists visit Qatar every year (Source: Qatar Immigration Department). 38 British nationals required consular assistance in Qatar in the period 01 April 2009 – 31 March 2010 for the following types of incident; deaths (7 cases); hospitalisations (5 cases); and arrests, for a variety of offences (20 cases). During this period, assistance was also requested with regard to lost or stolen passports (26 cases).
Now, all told, I'm not against World Cups being held on foreign shores. Oh how I remember fascination of the days of watching fuzzy, radio sounding, interference laden B&W TV pictures from Mexico and the like in my boyhood days (although frankly I'd prefer to watch it on a 40" LED in HD/3D).

Who knows, in the 8 years Russia have got, and the 12 Quatar have got to prepare, everything might be coming up roses.

Just a thought. I have no evidence to back that up.

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