The Anonymous Widower

Farewell Bin Hammam

Unlike Amy Winehouse, Mohammed Bin Hammam is still with us, even if FIFA have given him his just desserts.  He has just been on Radio 5 and has said that everything he did was in line with FIFA policy. But then they are full of organised corruption. If you can, listen to a replay of the morning sports program with David Davies.  I suspect none of the reasoned arguments, I’ve just heard went on at FIFA.

Now that we’ve said good-bye to Bin Hammam, how long can we sustain the farce of giving the World Cup to Qatar?

I wonder what odds I could get, that the Qatar World Cup doesn’t happen! Probably only very short ones, I would think!

July 24, 2011 Posted by | News, Sport | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Another World Cup Problem for Qatar

FIFA and the Qatari government have been put on notice about labour conditions in the build up to the World Cup 2022, according to this report on Bloomberg.

The International Trade Union Confederation and Building Workers International urged FIFA and the Qatari government to prove that migrant workers won’t be subject to “inhuman” conditions as the Persian Gulf nation begins to build stadiums in anticipation of the 2022 World Cup.

Do we really want to compete in a World Cup built by exploited labour?

But then our athletes went to Beijing, where human rights are non-existent and there have been two Olympics and two World Cups in the United States, where there is the death penalty.

May 31, 2011 Posted by | Sport | , , , , , | 4 Comments

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