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Friday, 3 December 2010

Fiasco for England 2018 World Cup bid

With snow covering the country and allowing plenty of time for navel-gazing, there is much gnashing of teeth over the failure of the England 2018 World cup bid.
Not much point in trying to find blame, as the failure is in the system - lying at the feet of FIFA.
It is now fairly evident that FIFA has grown into a monster which holds too much power over world football for which it answers to no-one and no body.
We can ask for a more transparent election/selection system, but that's like trying to hold democratic elections in China - it ain't gonnna happen.
Personally, I am not too put out by England not hosting the 2018 World Cup as not having to qualify would probably have meant our national team would be weak from lack of competitive football. Losing a World Cup as the host nation would signal a mass depression over the country.
I am fairly happy about the selection of Russia as 2018 hosts, as it is a former "Eastern-block" country and the first from the east of Europe to host the tournament. The logistic issues will be the heat in the summer (it can get exceptionally hot) and the terrorist issues.
What upsets me most is that the England bid only recieved 2 votes from the 22 on offer - and one of those was from England's representative on the voting panel. Given that all 4 host candidates for 2018 were based in Europe (Spain/Portugal; Holland/Belgium; England and "winners" Russia) and the Spain/Portugal bid was really a non-starter (Spain having hosted in 1982); England really should have collected a few more votes in the opening round. It should have been a straight battle between Russia and England.
As for 2022 being awarded to Qatar - that deceision is totally bonkers! It cuts against the grain of everything the World is trying to aim for - never mind football. Taking the World Cup to Qatar is FIFA putting two fingers up to conservation and saving the planet. It is FIFA saying they support the subjugation of women. It is FIFA saying that they are religiously intollerant. It is FIFA saying that they are "for sale".

Where do we go from here?
FIFA will not change, and they are now drunk with power. If you think the decisions of yesterday were bad, now that they have got away with it they will get much worse. FIFA has become a de-facto fascist state.
FIFA has to be toppled before it turns the beautiful game into something hideously ugly.
EUFA has already agreed to expand the European Championships in 2016 from 16 nations in the finals, to 24. Why not make the tournament an "invitational"? Invite 4 non-European teams to compete - the likes of Brazil and Argentina, Ghana, Mexico, Chile and Uruguay, USA and Australia.
Create a tournament free from corruption and hidden voting practices, that supports a game that is open to all, and that brings respect back to the game.

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