The Anonymous Widower

Bonkers FIFA

I can understand giving the World Cup to Russia for 2018, but to give it to Qatar for 2022, is probably one of the stupidest decisions they have made in recent years, amongst a whole basketfull.

I’ve been to Russia to support Ipswich and although it was a day trip, it was a pleasureable experience.  Especially as Ipswich won in the Olympic Stadium, where Seb Coe and Steve Ovett won their gold medals.

My only worry about Russia is that the Russian police are not noted for being friendly.  Even a few thousand Ipswich supporters, who are not noted for trouble, were treated with strong suspicion.  When I went to Belarus to support England, other England fans,  I said that Minsk was a really pleasureable experience compared to an earlier visit to Moscow, where the police were overly aggressive.

But that is a problem, they will have to overcome, just as they’ll have to come to terms with black players, who often don’t get the best of reception from the crowds in Russia.

When I heard Qatar had won, I thought it was a joke.

The games will be played in very high temperatures, drinking by fans will be a problem and the population of Qatar is only 1.6 million, so it must be the smallest country ever to stage a World Cup.  So if they fulfil their promise of building 12 stadia, they would just about be big enough to hold the whole population of the country.

I suspect that it will be the first World Cup that will be played in an alternative venue or it might well be the least successful in terms of visitor numbers. After all, some of the cheaper options for travel and accommodation, will just not be available.

I suspect too, that we’ve not heard the last of these two World Cup bids, when a few investigative journalists get their noses into the story.

I also can’t get it out of my mind, that for 2022, the United States was one of the bidders and I suspect that their bid was strong. So did the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan mean that no-one would vote for England or the United States.

This article from the Brisbane Times is a good summary of the farce. Like England, Australia got just one vote.

This paragraph from the article quotes Henry Winter of the Daily Telegraph.

But prominent English football analyst Henry Winter, while lamenting his country’s loss, wrote in London’s Daily Telegraph that Qatar’s win was “the real scandal” and that FIFA credibility was battered by its decisions.

“Yet the real scandal in FIFA-ville was the decision to award the 2022 tournament to Qatar, a soulless, featureless, air-conditioned, cramped place with so little connection to football it required hired hands like Pep Guardiola. It was as if FIFA were saying ‘to hell with the fans’. Qatar 2022 will be a joyless experience for supporters,” Winter said.

“FIFA’s credibility was battered yesterday, not by any allegations of corruption but by the cynical game of collusion and vote-trading that patently went on in Fifa House. All the fish are soiled.”

We’ve not heard the last of this scandal.

December 3, 2010 - Posted by | Sport | , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Russia are unused to black people generally, and apparently stare and comment and are often hostile – my daughter has been there and there were some black people in her party.

    Unfortunately, sport had become politicised. SA became more democratic and less racial, and was rewarded with world cup, many Russians have money, some own UK football clubs I believe, and are friendlier than they used to be, but still powerful, no-one wants to fall out with them – they get the world cup. Qatar is in Middle East, we dont want to fall out with the middle east either.


    Comment by liz | December 3, 2010 | Reply

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