There's not much left to say on the farce that was the World Cup bidding process. We know they are as bent as a three pound note, so why pander to them and waste millions in doing so?
I don't have a problem with Russia winning the 2018 bid. The country has made rapid progress in hosting big events in recent years, there's plenty of money in local football so facilities are improving all the time and presentation was well organised. I'm quite excited by the prospect of going there. It's the Qatar one which defies all logic. Good luck to them if they can pull it off, but little regard seems to have been paid to fans when they are not inside the air-conditioned stadiums. Getting into a major event stadium can often take over an hour, and in 50C, that's potentially lethal. Are they going to build 200 hotels to accommodate and provide liquid refreshment for foreign fans? Will there be a market for hotel boats moored 2km offshore where all the alcohol is served? And as far as the legacy goes, ripping down the stadiums afterwards doesn't exactly provide much for the future. Still if they've got the bottomless pit of cash to attend to every detail, good luck to them - make the world eat its words.
Like it or not, it's about time we let this issue go. The more we moan about it, the more we all look like sore losers. What doesn't kill you serves to make you stronger apparently. As put before UK parliament on Monday by Roger Godsiff, MP.
Early Day Motion
That this House believes that it would be a good idea if all those individuals and organisations involved in the failed World Cup bid showed a little humility and good grace instead of continually whingeing and moaning about the unfairness of FIFA and the bidding process; recalls that no allegations of unfairness were levelled by the British bid team or media against the International Olympic Committee, which is a similar self-appointed undemocratic organisation, when they awarded the 2012 Olympic Games to London; remembers that the English football authorities were themselves accused of double-dealing and breaking promises by members of UEFA when they attempted a rival bid against Germany for the 2006 World Cup; notes that the English football authorities and the Premier League are only too willing to sanction takeovers of English clubs by billionaire Russian oligarchs and Arab sheikhs and yet are condescendingly dismissive of Russia and Qatar's abilities to host football World Cups; and, while regretting that England was able only to accumulate two votes out of 22, congratulates Russia and Qatar on their success in bringing World Cup football to two parts of the world which have never hosted the World Cup before.
Well said sir.
One last point on FIFA, as printed in the Courier-Mail:
All you need to know about the men who made this decision is that FIFA requested, as a condition if England had mounted a successful bid, exclusion from a range of UK laws including one governing banks and foreign exchange operations.
So, had England hosted the World Cup, FIFA executives were free to move around with sacks of unexplained cash, exempt from the inquisition of customs officers.
We creep, we crawl, we kow-tow, prostrating ourselves at the feet of crummy, puffed-up overlords.
Football is just a sport. It's not the be-all and end-all of the world. It's not even close to the Olympics in terms of recognising sportspeople at the top of their profession, those who bust a gut all year round mostly supporting themselves, rather than overpaid, ethically devoid footballers. I don't hate football, I just hate the hype surrounding it. I'll quite happily watch it, but in terms of the amount of football I watch, it probably comes 10th on my list of sports...