Friday, December 03, 2010

Russian 'Roulette'

It was always going to end up with the 'FIX' back page headlines when England's bid to host the World Cup of 2018 failed.

I have read and heard all the excuses for the unsuccessful quest ever since it was announced that Russia would be the host country for the tournament.

The BBC Panorama documentary was one of the main scapegoats in the aftermath of the decision.

And I am in two minds over that programme.

On one hand, it was a report that was shedding nothing new. Everyone had known for years that FIFA is a shady governing body and all - yes all - of the information that was presented in the show on Monday night was information I had heard before.

Then you have to step back and see what the show did. They offered the viewer the truth as far as they can see. Should the BBC have held back this sort of thing just so England would win votes for the World Cup? That's not the agendas that Lord Reith established when the BBC was founded. Imagine the uproar if the BBC held back more important news findings. After all, it is their job as to serve the public. The people shouldn't have been left in the dark over the suspicious transactions FIFA were making in the 90's,

The other thing I have a problem with is when the England people were saying that the FIFA delegates had lied to them. They were under the impression that the visitors were happy with what they saw when viewing possible sites for the tournament.

Let me ask you this - have you ever been to a job interview? Did the interviewer leave you with the impression that everything went well? And did they also feed you the 'there are other candidates yet to be interviewed and we'll get back to you' line? I haven't been to a job interview since 1997 but that's how I remember them.

That's how I reckon the delegates worked. They visited all the countries and gave the same response to each. Hell, if none of these venues were good enough they wouldn't have been in the running to begin with.

Russia were always the favourites to land it. The betting was on them for months.

The sour grapes on the part of the press and others calling in to question the voting as being a 'roulette' is shameful. Had the ball landed on their colour and number, the voting process would have been deemed the greatest way of picking a host nation.

Trust me, it would have.

The grapes were even more sour when I heard the complaints on Qatar being selected to host the 2022 tournament. Those criticising the decision were claiming the country was too hot to host the World Cup finals.

Of all the things to complain about they picked the weather.


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